Why is TB preventive therapy (TPT) important in your community?
Since India is the world TB capital and Mumbai is the TB capital in India, we are serving a very vulnerable population of street drug users in Mumbai which makes it imperative for us to focus on. HIV among intravenous drug users (IDUs) in Mumbai is nine percent. Therefore, we have a large pool of those who could be affected by TB.
Can you describe the major goals of your IMPAACT4TB advocacy project? How will your work advance access to TB preventative therapy in your country?
One of our goals is to conduct case studies among our HIV-positive IDUs to show how this can make a difference. We would also want to include all IDUs in TB prevention through the national programme.
What gaps do you think are important to address?
One of the gaps is access to health care for our vulnerable populations. This has been further exposed by COVID-19. We need to change the perception of health caregivers to see this as a major problem.
What does it mean for you to be an IMPAACT4TB grantee?
As an IMPAACT4TB grantee, I see myself leading the advocacy campaign for better care for our clientele and others exposed to TB. We also have access to new networks that can assist us with this important mission. And last but not least, this is an opportunity to address a burning and underserved health issue!