The mission of FreedomTB program is to create a society free of Tuberculosis. Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the leading causes of mortality in India and accounts for one-fifth of the global TB cases. In India, every year, 2 million new TB cases occur and 0.87 million are infectious cases. Reports reveal 330,000 million people die of TB each year in India. It is prevalent in poor communities, along with HIV/AIDS and Malaria. TB has also been fuelled by HIV/TB co-infection.

Globally, about one-third of the world’s population carries a latent strain of the disease. Two million people die from TB each year, one every 20 seconds, and the spread of the disease has been fuelled by HIV/TB co-infection. HIV infection weakens the immune system. If a person’s immune system gets weak, TB infection can activate and become TB disease. In some parts of the world, 75% of HIV-positive patients also are infected with TB, and TB is also the leading killer of people with AIDS. TB is an airborne bacterium that can spread to any organ of the body, but most often is found in the lungs. Symptoms may include severe and prolonged coughing, fever, weight loss, chest pain and night sweats.

MDR-TB (multidrug-resistant tuberculosis) is a type of TB that often develops in patients who do not adhere to treatment for regular TB, have failed first-line treatment or contracted the disease unknowingly. Treatment for regular, first-line TB lasts six to nine months and is administered under the direct observation of a healthcare worker. In much of the developing world, people find it very difficult to adhere to such a long, rigorous course of treatment, which requires isolation from families and friends to prevent contamination.

Seeing this, ZMQ decided to create a program to combat Tuberculosis with a 360 degree approach and named it called FreedomTB.