A project of GlobeMed
GlobeMed at the University of Chicago partners with ASPAT-Peru to fight discrimination and improve the health of TB patients in Peru.
Who We Are // GlobeMed at UChicago
Founded in 2010, GlobeMed at the University of Chicago is one of 55 chapters in the wider GlobeMed network, which partners college students with grassroots NGOs to combat health inequities worldwide. GlobeMed at the University of Chicago works alongside the Asociación de Personas Afectadas por Tuberculosis del Perú (ASPAT-Peru) to alleviate the social stigma faced by TB patients in the poorest districts of Lima, Peru, to raise the quality of life of affected persons and their families, and to increase educational and preventative measures throughout the country.
Our Partner // Association of People Affected by Tuberculosis (ASPAT) in Callao, Peru
The Asociación de Personas Afectadas por Tuberculosis del Perú (ASPAT-Peru) was founded in 2007 by former TB patients living in Callao, Peru, a port city just outside Lima. Knowing from first-hand experience the discrimination and fear TB patients confront every day, ASPAT’s founders sought to increase psycho-social support for fellow patients and to educate the general population on the basics of TB transmission, prevention, and treatment.
Over the course of a four-year partnership between ASPAT and GlobeMed at the University of Chicago, the two organizations have focused on developing and funding programs largely aimed at improving patient adherence to treatment. Since the beginning of the partnership in 2010, GlobeMed at the University of Chicago has raised over $21,000 for ASPAT, funding a series of projects including educational seminars for patients and their families (covering such topics as adequate nutrition during recovery, the signs and symptoms of TB, and basic preventive measures), and a food-basket program designed to provide malnourished patients with enough supplementary nutrition to aid help them successfully complete a full treatment regimen. This year, we plan to sponsor and implement a pilot program, wherein nutritional breakfasts will be provided to tuberculosis (TB) patients in one health center in Lima 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.
Our Projects // $10,500 to Help Provide Undernourished Tuberculosis Patients in Lima with Healthy Breakfasts
GlobeMed at the University of Chicago and ASPAT-Peru have agreed to sponsor and implement a pilot breakfast program for tuberculosis patients in Lima. Our vision for the project is one in which breakfasts are provided six days a week to one carefully selected Lima health center so that TB patients at that center will have a reliable source of nutritious food during six months of treatment, which covers the entire treatment period for drug-sensitive TB and a good portion of treatment for drug-resistant strains. We expect that the provision of a hearty, nutritious breakfast (to be eaten at the same time as tuberculosis meds are administered) will reduce the harshness of the side effects of treatment and encourage a sense of community, thereby motivating patients to go to treatment centers regularly and improving treatment compliance rates.
Ultimately, the goal of this program is to reduce negative side effects from treatment, to improve the nutrition and immune well-being of the patients, and to provide more opportunities for psycho-social support for patients in order to increase adherence to treatment. We hope that the effectiveness of this intervention can be proven via the pilot program described above. Following proof of concept, we hope that this program can be scaled across health centers in Lima and Callao with support from the appropriate local government sectors.