GlobeMed at the University of Chicago partners with ASPAT-Peru to fight discrimination and improve the physical and mental health of tuberculosis patients in and around Callao
GlobeMed at the University of Chicago + ASPAT
GlobeMed at the University of Chicago | Chicago, Illinois
Asociación de Personas Afectadas por Tuberculosis del Perú (ASPAT) | Callao, Peru
Peru has one of the highest incidence rates of tuberculosis in the Americas. As of 2011, 60 percent of all TB cases and 80 percent of all multi-drug resistant TB cases in Peru were concentrated in Lima and the nearby port city of Callao.
“TB patients require twice as many calories as average people in order to recover, but many patients are malnourished, even by normal standards. ASPAT ensures that patients are eating properly by providing food baskets (filled with milk, rice, beans, tuna, and other healthy foods) to patients in need. The baskets, which cost around $40 each, are delivered monthly. Most patients need the baskets for 6 months, while drug-resistant TB patients require 12-24 months’ worth. Of course, at the root of these three main problems (overcrowding, lack of education, malnutrition) is poverty. To get at the heart of poverty, ASPAT plans to by providing training and start-up funds to small businesses such as sandwich and ayacucho (beef heart skewer) stands, jewelry kiosks, and the like.”
About the Partnership
The Asociación de Personas Afectadas por Tuberculosis del Perú (ASPAT-Peru) was founded in 2007 in the port city of Callao, Peru. ASPAT’s founders, former tuberculosis patients themselves, understand the discrimination and fear TB patients confront every day. They hope to increase psycho-social support for fellow patients and to educate the general population on the basics of TB transmission, prevention, and treatment.
Over four years of partnership, ASPAT and GlobeMed at the University of Chicago have focused on programs that are largely aimed at improving patient adherence to treatment. GlobeMed at the University of Chicago has raised over $21,000 for ASPAT, funding projects such as educational seminars for patients and their families, and a food-basket program for malnourished patients.
GlobeMed at the University of Chicago and ASPAT-Peru are implementing a pilot breakfast program for tuberculosis patients in Lima. ASPAT-Peru will provide breakfast six days a week at one Lima health center so TB patients have a reliable source of nutritious food during six months of treatment. The six months of food covers the entire treatment period for drug-sensitive TB and a good portion of treatment for drug-resistant strains. GlobeMed at UChicago and ASPAT-Peru hope to reduce the harsh side effects of treatment and encourage a sense of community among patients, thereby motivating them to go to treatment centers regularly and improving treatment compliance rates.
GlobeMed at the University of Chicago aims to raise $10,500 to implement a pilot program in a health center in Lima, Peru, wherein nutritional breakfasts are provided to tuberculosis (TB) patients in order to foster a sense of community among the patients and reduce the harsh side effects of treatment, improving patients’ rates of adherence to their full treatment regimens.