From chemists to doctors and nurses, everyone dismissed this set of tribals as drunkards. Even spouses and community members echo the sentiment that acute drinking habit as the core reason for medication non-adherence and inability to cure.
In a low researched and heavily superstitious population, it was difficult to find the answers. But we found them:
Influenced by cultural norms and set standards, it is easy to attribute the cause of an undesirable behaviour to alcohol addiction. But when we dug deep through applied behavioural science learnings and systems thinking approaches, we found an appalling evidence: Alcohol-use Disorder - when an individual regularly consumes over 40g alcohol, their immune system get compromised. And this could even reactivate dormant TB and speeded the progression from infection to disease!
Acknowledging this, many developed countries have an AUD screening system for alcoholic patients. And the TB treatment course for AUD diagnosed patients include rehabilitation. Thereby reducing incidences and infection aggravation. But in India, systemic and behavioural bias against alcoholism was closing doors of treatment reforms. However through this research we were able to fundamentally shift treatment attitudes and perceptions.