TB and COVID-19

Disruption of the routine Health Care Services in Mining Communities:

Due to remoteness, sparsely spread, and hilly habitations, tribal populations are deprived of critical and timely medical interventions from the public sector infrastructure. The absence of transport facilities further triggers the difficulty in reaching services, especially for women and children. There is a basic denial of human rights in the designated tribal area regarding universal health coverage (UHC). Violence against tribal women is a legitimate human rights issue. The underlying causes of gender inequality are related to the social and economic structure, which is based on the informal and formal norms and practices. Culturally the tribal women have less access to resources, opportunities, and say in the decision-making processes. This is equally pertinent in the case of their health-seeking behavior. It is pertinent to note that there are as many as 132 people living with TB per 100,000 populations. This indicates the alarming situation in the Tribal belt of KBK districts of Odisha.

COVID-19 has severely disrupted routine health care needs in ASM communities particularly miners receiving care for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), tuberculosis (TB), maternal/neonatal/child health (MNCH) issues, reproductive health (RH), and family planning (FP) including preventing unwanted pregnancy, and other occupational diseases as the entire focus are shifted to COVID-19 prevention and treatment.

SRADHA is exploring and trying alternative options for uninterrupted health care services including TB services –  to mitigate the impact of COVID-19

The current social distancing and stay-at-home measures have made it particularly challenging for tuberculosis (TB) programs to provide the necessary diagnosis, treatment, and care for the people and communities affected by TB.


1 To support the formation of TB groups among affected tribal communities from 8 districts of the KBK region of Odisha.

2 To federate the block-level TB groups of tribal communities as district-level advocacy forums.

3 To advocate with Panchayat, block, district, and state-level media to bring visibility towards TB services for availability, accessibility, and need for the tribal area in the specific context of COVID-19.

4 To advocate with district and state-level TB officials for creation and enforcing tribal area-specific and exclusive policies for improved access of TB services.

5 To build capacity of front line health care workers on alternative options, such as virtual care, digital health, and community- monitoring solutions, to bring the required TB services to the affected tribal people and communities


India has among the largest numbers of TB cases (23%) of the global total. The National Strategic Plan for TB Elimination (2017–2025) is a statement of commitment to eliminating TB by 2025 by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. It proposes bold strategies with commensurate resources to rapidly decline TB incidence and mortality in India by 2025. Our initiatives facilitate advocacy and lobbying interventions and focus on the outreach of initiatives for TB prevention, care and control, strengthening the systems and promotion of policies to create an enabling environment by reaching the media, political and governance structures.

Our Interventions

  • SRADHA together with local partners MEET and Centre for Development Action has taken initiative through front line health care workers to help support people with TB during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
  • SRADHA has identified and relied on alternative options, such as virtual care, digital health, and community- monitoring solutions, to bring the required TB services, without any delays and interruptions, as close as possible to the 10300 Artisanal and Small Mining (ASM) people (about 50% females) and communities in KBK districts of Odisha affected by TB॰
  • SRADHA together with local partners has been involving educational institutions and community based institutions on alternative approaches for uninterrupted TB services during pandemic time.