TB ZORRO 2018 - 2019
Advocacy activities focused on the patient involvement in health care delivery and TB control.
With Ksenia Schenina
Supported by WHO.
2018 - Samara, Togliatti, Volgograd, Krasnodar (with Maria Tselovatova)
2019 - Irkutsk, Vladivostok
- Kyzyl (with Natalya Sidorenko)
TB Zorro is a tour around Russia, visiting cities with the most challenging TB situations to promote awareness and spread the brochure “Tuberculosis and you”.
The activists chose seven cities in Russia, based on complaints from patients as well as statistics on the prevalence of tuberculosis amongst the population. During the tour the activists met with doctors and patients, delivered many boxes of the brochures to the local hospitals, gave popular scientific lectures about TB and interviews to the local journalists. It was important to understand why these regions continue to struggle with TB.
After the trip, we identified several specific problems for the regions visited.
Tuberculosis hospitals are in poor condition, usually in older buildings without a specific ventilation system.
Many hospitals are experiencing drug stock-outs, patients themselves are struggling to keep up their treatment.
The level of stigma in cities is very high. The lectures we gave were a very important part of the program, but, as we could see, only people affected by the disease would visit it; for instance in Kyzyl, people were afraid to come because of the fear to be recognized by someone as a TB survivor.
Throughout the tour, 680 copies of the brochures were distributed. The brochure was appreciated not only by patients, but also by doctors. Inspired by our trips, TB activist Svetlana Fateeva from Crimea traveled to several hospitals by car, delivered boxes of brochures, met with patients and doctors.
We believe that after the trip, doctors began to better relate to the patient communities, because they had direct interaction with us. When the patients saw that someone just like them survived the same disease, they realized they are not alone, someone is fighting for them, and they started to believe in themselves again.
Special thanks to:
Melita Vujnović and The WHO representation office of the Russian Federation - organization and financial support of the project.
Irina Vasilyeva - Chief TB specialist of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation - assistance in communication with the chief doctors of the local TB dispensaries.