Fusing journalism and TB – telling the stories as they are

Questions that beg answers

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In one of my earlier posts I wondered why there is no activism around TB as there is for HIV. We don’t see TB patients or patients cured of TB coming together to demand services, express solidarity or form networks for advocacy as other groups do. Reference here is to cancer, thallesemia etc. The Stop TB Partnership has a clearly articulated section on empowering people with TB and communities through partnership as set out below:
* Advocacy, communication and social mobilization
* Community and patient involvement in TB care and prevention
* Empower people with TB, and communities
* Patient’s Charter for the Tuberculosis community
And yet, we see little of this actually happening on the ground. What could be the reasons? Could it be that people can ‘live with HIV’, and like those living with diabetes or hypertention, can enjoy long periods of perfectly good health if they take the right precautions? They therefore have the will and the strength to do other things such as demand better services that can enable better quality of life. People with TB are unwell people, they have debilitating symptoms that prevent them from leading normal lives during the time that they are sick. How can sick people come together? Or is it that TB, if treated on time can lead to a complete cure and cured patients don’t find the need to come together? Ever heard of patients cured of influenza forming groups and advocating for better services? I request readers to give their inputs and strengthen this discussion; what I have written here are just nascent threads of thought that beg answers.

Bharathi Ghanashyam

Written by JournalistsAgainstTB

April 28, 2011 at 4:18 pm

Posted in TB and Media

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