The pattern of seeking help for health-related problems differ between men and women. The feeling of stigma often affects if and when they reach out for help. When seeking help, often stigma effect the women more acutely than men. The same happened when Champa was asked to give her sputum sample for test.
Champa lives in Girvar village of Aburoad block in Sirohi district of Rajasthan. Aburoad and Pindawara are two tribal blocks that the ACF team are working in. The major tribes that live in these blocks are Bheel and Garasiya. Initially when the ACF team started working in these blocks they faced a lot of resistance from the residents. The team held awareness session on TB where they discussed about the symptoms of TB. But when the teams asked if anyone in their community has any symptoms, they refused to share the information.
Looking at the hesitance from the community the team realized that they would have to involve the community leaders. So, they talked to the PRI members and other Community leaders. They were given information about the campaign and how it will be useful for the community. With the help of these leaders the team gained acceptance among the people of the community and started their awareness program and sputum collection.
In Girvar village the team met Sameera, he had severe cough for long time. Team collected his sputum sample and sent it for testing. He tested positive for TB and his treatment started. The team was very happy about the progress they had made in the community.
The team noticed that Sameera’s wife, Champs was suffering from sever cough as well. They asked for her sample too. But Champa refused. Despite repeated requests she did not agree to giving her sample. When the team approached Sameera to convince his wife to give her sample he too sided with his wife saying that Champa does not have sever cough; she coughs only once a while. It came as a surprise for the team as Sameera had willingly given his sample for testing.
While talking to Sameera and Champa the team members Khushboo and Neeta realized that Champa and Sameera were not willing to give the sample as Champa was a woman. They were afraid that she might face stigma and discrimination from her community.
Looking at the situation Neeta and Khushboo decided to take help from the Anganwadi worker KaliBai and Sarpanch Sharmili Devi who were both women. They both went to Sameera’s house and talked to both Sameera and Champs. They convinced Champa to give her sample.
She was tested positive. The team mobilized a vehicle to take Champa to the nearest health facility and get her treatment started.