On childhood TB, stigma, and listening to care givers in Botswana

In a thought-provoking editorial KNCV’s Dr. Ellen Mitchell reflects on an article by Stillson and colleagues on ‘Exploring challenges faced by care givers of children with tuberculosis in Botswana’. Dr. Mitchell calls on TB professionals to look at the service provision for pediatric tuberculosis from all angles and to listen more to the parents and other care givers who are responsible for the children’s daily survival.
Thus, the development of new products may benefit from care giver input, for instance in developing appropriate and patient-friendly ways to administer treatment to children.
“If we can also take seriously care givers’ concerns about commodity management, stigma and patient costs, they too will share in our enthusiasm in the powerful diagnostic and treatment options we are developing for pediatric TB … These care givers remind us that our End TB strategy also contains the crucial goal of zero suffering – a concept we still have only begun to define.”

KNCV has been fighting TB since its establishment in 1903. Over the past 117 years, the organization has acquired indispensable knowledge and experience in the field of effective TB control, resulting in pre-elimination in the Netherlands and significant contributions to global evidence generation, policy development and TB program implementation worldwide.

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Tuberculosis is still one of the major causes of preventable death in the world and claims over 4000 lives a day, leading to over 1,5 million deaths a year.

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