The last edition of KNCV Update addressed the issue of stigma that TB patients, and especially MDR-TB patients, face when deciding to start treatment or continue their treatment despite suffering from drug side effects. Providing these patients with a platform for support and communication with fellow patients can help reduce perceived stigma by patients and encourage them to build on their collective experience of economic and social hardships. Seventy percent of MDR-TB patients suffer from side effects, which range from gastro-intestinal complaints and sleeping problems to headaches or severe loss of hearing. In Indonesia and Central Asia, KNCV is supporting Patient Support Groups to empower patients and reduce loss-to-follow-up, thereby benefiting their personal health as well as the health of family-members and the community.
Read the inspiring story of a former patient from Indonesia who started the first Patient Support Group with KNCV’s support, or find out more about TB-assoicated stigma.