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May the BEST Win - BEST, Mumbai

BEST, the lifeline of Mumbai, has over 40,000 employees, 840 contractual laborers, serving 3.5 million commuters daily and providing electricity to over a million Mumbai homes. A socially conscious employer, BEST has always centered its various welfare policies and schemes around its employees. Employee absenteeism resulting from TB costs the world economy USD 12 billion annually. In India alone TB causes a loss of around 100 million workdays per year. Further TB keeps people from climbing out of poverty for 7 years after they have completed the treatment.

 Intervention Outline

The mass media campaigns are used to convey behaviour-change messages that aim to impact and influence the public knowledge, attitudes and practices.

Engagement and CSR investment by corporates can disseminate information on TB widely to vast audiences through the use of media, such as television, radio, local media channels, traditional media, newspapers, Internet, books, posters and billboards. The corporate can adopt a district or state and implement campaigns around prominent dates like world TB day or the company’s foundation day etc

 

Expected Impact

  1. Increase in knowledge, attitudes, awareness and opinions about TB and health-seeking behaviour for TB
  2. Decrease in stigma
  3. Increase in uptake of government services for TB service
  4. Corporate brand positioning

Expected Investment

Capital Cost – INR 10 – 50 lakhs

Support from CTP Secretariat

  • Project designing
  • Providing IEC material to use in the campaign – audio/video clippings
  • Facilitating collaboration with the government program including approvals wherever necessary
  • Coordinating with technical experts for their quotes etc
  • Training volunteers for the campaign

Workplace is the most convenient platform to introduce any health policy, as it not only impacts the employee and their families, but the whole society at large. We, therefore, take utmost care to maintain the health of our workers. Our TB policy and intervention is a significant step and commitment in this direction.

Dr. Anil Kumar Singal, Chief Medical Officer, BES

4 Principles of Prevention

Primordial prevention preventing the risk factors for TB.

Primary prevention modifying the risk factors for TB.

Secondary prevention preventing disability and death from TB by early diagnosis and optimum care and support.

Tertiary prevention to overcome the disease related anxiety/ depression and to restore the health at earliest, TB infected employees entitled for special extraordinary benefits

TB Policy

BEST employees can get themselves diagnosed and treated at its 26 fully-staffed in-house depot dispensaries and the Mumbai Central Bus Depot Dispensary and Investigation Centre — the latter offering a single-window service to those fighting HIV-TB co-infection.

A monthly three-tier follow-up system has been devised, through the DOTS centre, the depot dispensary and the Mumbai Central dispensary. If patients need hospitalization, they can go to hospitals empaneled by BEST to seek treatment, either free or at a subsidized cost.

There are regular trainings for the medical staff, and counselling for patients and their families which is critical for treatment adherence. In addition, there are awareness activities through a web of peer educators, counsellors, and publicity material displayed in buses, bus shelters, etc. BEST also conducts recreational activities like yoga and stress management camps, held in collaboration with the KEM Hospital. With a senior management determined to ensuring the ealth of its staff— they have an in-house Disability Board.

Supported by the Corporate TB Pledge (CTP) secretariat, BEST further amplified its work and awareness activities last year. To mark the World TB Day 2020 BEST undertook handkerchief campaign, sticker campaign, sunlight campaign; gave lectures on TB across all its office and the Chief Medical officer gave a radio interview for larger public interest

Key Lessons

BEST model stands out as one of the most all-encompassing programmes, and proves that with the right amount of support, TB can indeed become history. Integrating TB response with other health initiatives, supported by senior management is most productive and efficient in the long run. Focus on employee-centric policies, building a sensitive and supportive workplace environment, regular awareness activities and peer-education model ensured maximum impact and moral-boost for the employees, increasing employee retention. Establishing effective linkages with government programs and services and providing access to treatment at workplace, wherever possible, enabled sustainability to the interventions.