Connecting local responses around the world
Earlier people used to not share their deep concerns and personal issues. We listened to their stories and helped them find their strengths. We were able to create a good environment and they found the conversation useful. No one got up from group meetings because everyone had the desire to do something and gave their time for the meeting.People realised that they are for each other and they have to jointly find a solution.
We work with communities on the issue of diabetes and hypertension. Prinkal, another facilitator and I did a SALT visit to home of a lady who is patient of hypertension. We found that this lady’s husband also had slightly high blood sugar. We had a very nice conversation with the couple and felt very connected. We mentioned to the couple how weak the husband seemed. During our conversation, the lady opened up that the husband had TB. Fear of discrimination and rejection was discouraging the family from actively seeking medical care and they had hidden the disease status from others. Now the man opened up and shared his condition. We went to visit him a couple of times at his home.
This lady joined us during SALT meeting. We saw that people began to share their personal concerns and tried to to understand each other’s problem. The lady shared about about her husband's health issue with others.
Why did she open up? I think there is a change in the atmosphere in the village. After SALT people want to care for each other and support each other especially the older people. After people got to know about the TB, they began to help the couple especially the ANM has gone out of the way to support them.
In diseases like TB, where there is stigmatising attitude towards TB patients, SALT and CLCP can play a crucial role. Often people are scared if someone has TB and want to keep away but when SALT creates an environment where people feel others will support them, they begin to open up. This safe space helps them to share their most difficult problems as they know that they will not face ridicule but will get assistance from others.