What Needs to be Done to Improve Tuberculosis Treatment Rates

by Bidita Debnath on  July 4, 2013 at 9:55 PM Research News   - G J E 4
In BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine, research finds that people with tuberculosis (TB) in China often delay going to see a doctor for more than two weeks.
 What Needs to be Done to Improve Tuberculosis Treatment Rates
What Needs to be Done to Improve Tuberculosis Treatment Rates

Reasons for this include a poor understanding of TB, increasing costs of treatment not covered by health insurance, and using traditional approaches first. Even after going to a clinic there were still delays in treatment, especially in rural areas, due to a lack of qualified medical staff.

Worldwide TB remains a leading cause of death, and China has the second largest TB epidemic with the most number of people infected with multi-drug resistant (MDR) strains per countries. Delay in being treated increases the risk of spreading TB, and contributes to the development of MDR-TB. To reduce these risks it is important to understand why delays occur.

This meta-analysis of behaviour in seeking diagnosis and treatment for TB included almost 40,000 patients. Patients who delayed going to see a doctor by more than two weeks were more likely to live in rural areas, to be less educated or female. Poverty, lack of health insurance, rising costs of excess payments or treatments not covered by the insurance, as well as a poor understanding of TB were cited by patients in contributing to their delay in seeing a doctor. What seems to happen is that people would first try traditional Chinese medicine, as this was also a risk factor for delay.

Rural patients were also more likely to be subject to delays due to limited resources at the health care facility, such as a lack of qualified health care workers or ability to do appropriate tests.

Prof Shenglan Tang, from Duke University, and Dr Ying Li, from the Third Military Medical University, who carried out this study explained, "Inadequate and late detection of TB remains a challenge especially in rural China. By understanding the reasons behind this we can try to begin to change health intervention programs to ensure that these problems are addressed. There is also a stigma associated with TB which needs to be removed by better health promotion and by empowering individuals with TB to change how others view this disease."

Source: Eurekalert

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

View All