As part of their community engagement activities, the Community Advisory Board (CAB) at the STREAM trial site in Ahmedabad, India, makes home visits to participants, providing crucial psychosocial support for STREAM participants and their families. During a recent visit, Subrat Mohanty, STREAM India’s Community Engagement Coordinator, spoke with Ms. Kanchanben Revar, a participant at the BJ Medical College and Civil Hospital site, about her diagnosis with tuberculosis (TB) and her experiences with the STREAM Trial.
Kanchanben, 29 years old and a mother of one, lives with her father and mother-in-law in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. “She is an inspiration to all and a real example of a STREAM trial success story,” says Mohanty.
In 2017, Kanchanben sought medical advice after suffering from stomach pains and fever. However, the medicines and pain relief initially prescribed by doctors did not help. As her pain persisted, she decided to go with her mother-in-law to the Civil Hospital in Ahmedabad where she underwent tests, which revealed that she had multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). “The diagnosis was devastating. My whole world was torn apart and I instantly thought, who will look after my son and my family?,” explained Kanchanben.
In March 2018, Kanchanben was recruited to the STREAM trial and she began treatment for MDR-TB. Over the course of the 9 months of treatment, she was regularly visited by representatives of the STREAM trial team and CAB members who encouraged her to take her medicine and boosted her morale. They provided much needed support, not only for her, but for her family too.
“The opportunity for trial participants to meet with members of the STREAM CAB has contributed to breaking barriers, and reducing the stigma surrounding TB. When trial participants meet with the members of the CAB, they know that they are with people who understand their perspective. It is an experience which is beneficial for both parties involved. Meeting with Kanchanben was a learning experience for me and I congratulate her for adhering to treatment,” explained Mr Mohanty.
Kanchanben has now completed treatment and is doing well. When asked about her experience with the STREAM Trial, she said, “I’m so pleased I was able to take part in this trial. The CAB members were really supportive and ensured regular follow up with me so that I was motivated to continue taking my medication. I felt supported the whole time,” explained Kanchanben.
Read more about the STREAM Trial in India, here.