We raise the issues of the field
On 22nd of November, 2018 PPAN NGO with the support of NTC conducted TB group meeting with 20 TB patients. This is the second time that within ‘’Changes are Possible. Act now’’ 2018 proյect meeting with TB beneficiaries conducted in NTC based on TB patents needs and involvement of new patients who getting stationary treatment course. The main purpose of the meeting was the detection of obstacles within the patients’ treatment course and subsequent advocacy activities as well as provision of legal, social assistance to TB patients.
Participating patients were already familiar with Arman Avchyan and Gohar Niazian (NGO staff) who carry out monitoring visits and analyzes within the framework of this project. However, this group of patients had not yet had a meeting with other NGO staff in this format. A. Galstyan (PR manager of PPAN NGO) focusing on TB and HIV infection, presented to TB patients the services provided by the organization, the implemented and current programs, the results registered during the advocacy operations. Then social worker S. Harutyunyan and lawyer S. Sargsyan presented and continued the discussion with TB Patients.
TB patients had unclear issues related to state-sponsored social assistance, disability status and their rights, lack of identification documents, registration and free health care delivery. All the questions were discussed one by one and the guidance was provided by the specialists. By the initiative of the NGO staff, patients were asked to speak about existing problems, which somehow impact and cause on positive results of TB treatment. TB patients talked about the irreversibility of the center’s surgeon. The surgeon was on vacation then broke his hand and for 3 months patients were forced to wait for the surgeon to be replaced.
Although it has been confirmed that any medical assistance associated with TB should be performed for the patient free of charge, but the patients have raised the issue of paying money in the center. They point out that several months ago their contacts/relatives had been researched at the center in a paid option, heart cardiogram was offered to TB patient only by the payment and during the operation of TB patient the anesthesia was done by charge. One of the TB patients also mentioned that the TB center’s physician, without prior notification, informed the patient’s relatives about his HIV status. After the meeting all the issues and problems were gathered and presented to the TB Center Director. By the initiative of the TB Center and with the participation of our NGO representative a meeting of the Center’s specialists was held where the Director spoke about all the raised issues. In the strict order of NTC’s Director medical staff will lose a job if such examples will be repeated. The center’s surgeon has already returned to work but unable to fully perform his functions based on his health conditions. The Center has also hired a young specialist, who does not deal with all functions yet due to the lack of practice. An old specialist is still the only one in TB area and patients have to wait.