When Nutrition is the Cure

The journey for TB patients in India from the onset of the symptoms to correct treatment initiation is long and complex, and can often take up to 65 days. Let us understand the case of Resham, a 4-year-old whose father is a waiter at a hotel in Khambhaliya, Gujarat. Diagnosing Reshams’ Tuberculosis, getting referred to the government facility, and initiating his free medication took a while. By then, his father had lost his job while looking after the medical needs of this son. He had poured all their savings towards his treatment in the private clinics. With no steady income, the family had to compromise on the child’s nutritional needs, thereby adversely affecting his treatment outcomes. Nutrition is a critical factor that contributes to weakened immune responses.

The Government of India’s TB program provides a monthly cash incentive of Rs. 500/- to all patients for their nutritional needs. However, the cash compensation could not save Resham and his family from slipping into the vicious cycle of poverty and undernutrition.

Nayara Energy (Erstwhile Essar Oil Limited) owns and operates the second-largest, single-site refinery in India and actively partners with the communities to make a meaningful impact on the lives of people. Driving inclusive growth and delivering value for the stakeholders is at the core of its beliefs. Through various sustainable development projects in the areas of health & nutrition, education and environment, Nayara Energy continues to play a pivotal role in improving the quality of life of the communities.

Intervention Model

TB Morbidity

Leads to poverty and hunger within the family

Government support of Rs 500 per month

Through bank account on basis of Adhar card/number of patients enrolled for treatment

Is it enough?

List of TB patients on treatment from DTO

Nayara Energy

Financial support

Counselling and social support

Nutritional Support

Reduced morbidity


Devbhumi Dwarka in Gujarat has been the cornerstone of Nayara Energy’s existence since the time it laid its refinery’s foundation. To complement the Government of India’s treatment and nutrition support initiatives, Nayara Energy, in partnership with the Government of Gujarat, has launched Nutrition Support Program in 2018 that strengthens the district’s nutrition indicators by leveraging Health and Wellness centers through technology and new-age delivery mechanisms. This multi-stakeholder initiative is made successful with the support of the JSI R&T India Foundation and Indian Institute of Public Health – Gandhinagar (IIPHG), working closely with the Integrated Child Development Services Scheme (ICDS) and Department of Women & Child Development (DWCD).

Upon becoming CTP members, The Union coordinated meetings between CSR representatives of Nayara energy and district TB unit in Devbhumi Dwarka, half day workshop was facilitated to identify area of intervention of mutual interest for both, the district program and in line with Nayara Energy CSR priorities. Based on the deliberations in this workshop, it was agreed to start nutrition support project for all TB patients in the district. Information exchange of district TB cell was also facilitated with other states having nutrition support project to finalize list of food grains and other materials to be included in the family nutrition kit. Monitoring indicators including weight gain, treatment adherence and treatment outcome were also finalized as part of technical support provided to this initiative. 4-year old Resham, his family and many such TB patients are beneficiaries of Nayara Energy’s Nutrition Support program.

Nayara Energy’s Nutritional Artillery for a family ration kits comprising of rice, multigrain atta, chickpeas, dal, oil and jaggery intercepts the cyclical relationship between TB, poverty and undernutrition. Further, Nayara Energy plans to build on this project by enlisting nutrition counsellors, appetite-builders, and digital microscopes for active case-finding


Nayara Energy’s work in parts of Gujarat has saved scores of families from collapsing in the face of TB. The nutrition support helps to increase patient’s weight & treatment adherence and outcomes, as well as ease the financial burden of affected families.


of the patients gained weight upon receiving nutrition support by Nayara Energy

– Dr. Dhiren Pithadiya DTO Devbhumi Dwarka

Key Lessons

Nayara Energy’s model for implementation is premised on the understanding that the intersectional nature of poverty, malnutrition, and inaccessibility can overthrow even the most robust TB-Elimination program, as that by the Government of India. It is, therefore, up to private companies to become safety nets for local communities, so that families like those of Resham can be protected.