Patient Support Groups (PSG) in UHC Blocks in Tamil Nadu
Patient Support Group (PSG) is a community-based intervention which is currently being implemented in Tamil Nadu for strengthening communitization efforts for better NCD control including compliance to treatment for common NCDs especially Hypertension and Diabetes. The group can address a lot of issue faced by them in the management of the NCDs and mutually benefit each other through sharing of experiences. It was piloted in the UHC blocks of 3 districts namely Cuddalore, Villipuram and Virudhunagar during August 2019 and is currently being up-scaled to all 47 UHC blocks of Tamil Nadu. This will be integrated with the visit schedule of ‘Hospital on wheels’ program through the Mobile Medical Units (MMU) in villages covered by MMU Team and in rest of the villages, it would be covered as part of the regular work plan of Health & Wellness centres.
The Women Health Volunteer from the SHG network who forms the first point of contact for the community in the household level screening for NCDs play a crucial role in the PSGs due to their closeness and association with the community. An incentive of Rs. 250/PSG meeting will be given to the leader in –charge for the PSG by the MMU /HWC for the conduct of the meeting which shall be met from the untied funds for HWC. The guidelines for the implementation of PSG was framed by State NCD Cell.
Under the program, the WHVs are also eligible to get additional incentives if they are able to achieve community control rate for HT and DM through Patient Support Groups. The State NCD Cell also has framed a guidelines for ‘Achieving community control for Hypertension and Diabetes Mellitus through Patient Support Groups’.