Operation ASHA (Op ASHA) was founded with a vision to see a Tuberculosis (TB) free India. Op ASHA began with one TB treatment centre in September, 2006 and enrolled 26 new patients within three months. Op ASHA provides TB treatment and education services in 4,000 slums and villages in nine Indian states and two provinces in Cambodia. It is the exclusive provider of TB treatment to about 8.9 million patients. With a successful model in place, Op ASHA continues to grow and expand beyond India's borders to South East Asia and Africa, where millions more suffer from TB. They have successfully treated over 54,000 TB patients till date.
Their mission is to expand access to services and products of high quality at affordable prices amongst disadvantaged communities worldwide, with a focus on delivery of health services. At the end of FY15, Op ASHA was operating 248 TB treatment centres in India, up from 213 a year ago.
Their 14 point model involves the following treatment methods:
- Following Directly Observed Therapy, Short course (DOTS) therapy
- Work in close collaboration with the National TB programme
- Employ trusted community leaders
- Rapid-response testing and education for patients and their immediate families and friends
- Well-trained corps of local providers
- Over the counter drugs
- Skilled field staff
- Robust feedback
- Strict quality control
- Low-cost operating model
- Easy replication
- Urban and Rural Methods
Op ASHA’s cost of treating one TB patient is Rs4,800 ($80), approximately 19 times lower than the nearest other provider; its cost of detection is Rs1,620 ($27) per patient, over 32 times lower than programs funded by TB-REACH; its Social Return on Investment is 3,217%, which means that for every rupee invested by a donor, Op ASHA provides a benefit of 32 rupees to the disadvantaged communities; and its cost of preventing one often fatal Multi-Drug Resistant (MDR) TB case is Rs12,000 ($200), 14-50 times lower than treating one MDR patient.
In addition, Op ASHA’s methodology has led to exceptionally high detection rates, a treatment success rate of 87%, and a default rate of 3%, in a scenario where there have been reports of at least 32% patient defaults during the 6 to 10 month long treatment.