While the number of men and women who get TB has been reported routinely for many years, very little attention has been given to TB treatment outcomes for men and women, whether there is a gender difference, and, if so, why and what can be done about it.
As part of the USAID TB LON programme, THINK has conducted research since early 2020 that looked at the differences in treatment outcomes disaggregated by gender and identified the barriers and enablers faced by each group that could have impacted their treatment outcomes. Data was collected through a series of interviews and focus group discussions with patients and healthcare workers. With these results, a workshop was held with healthcare workers and previous patients to identify potential interventions to address factors to improve treatment outcomes for both men and women. Some of these interventions that we are excited to launch include novel peer support groups and social support booklets, covering topics such as mental health, nutrition and financial support. Both support groups and booklets provide key information to patients when they no longer have easy access to in-hospital support structures. The results from this study will be presented at the 2022 Union World Conference on Lung Health.