Bachchan’s admission on TB will help reduce stigma

Written By Unknown on Sabtu, 27 Desember 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: Superstar Amitabh Bachchan admitting that he had contracted tuberculosis (TB) in 2000, will help to reduce TB related stigma and discrimination say experts.

Bachchan shared this hitherto unknown fact recently saying that " I was a TB patient years ago. I have never spoken about it on a public platform, but now is the time. If it could happen to me, it can happen to anyone. But I have recovered and standing before you,"" said Bachchan.

"General perception is that TB is disease of poor. But fact is that TB does not make any discrimination and even rich people can get TB. However, rich and famous people prefer private treatment and never come on government record of TB patients. Bachchan's statement will help to demystify misunderstandings about TB" said state health officials.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) note against discrimination of TB patients state that TB is an infectious disease caused by bacteria that any person can get. It is not a hereditary disease or a curse of God. It can be completely cured by taking regular and complete treatment. Stigma and discrimination against people diseased with TB can occur in many settings at the workplace, health care facilities, or within the community. Its manifestation can be as dramatic as physical violence or as subtle as avoidance. However, it is totally unnecessary and primarily based on myths.

" Stigma is totally unnecessary and primarily based on myths. Beyond the economic consequences, stigma and discrimination against people with TB have a devastating social and psychological impact. Such attitudes obstruct health care providers in delivering effective treatment. Stigma often prevents people from seeking health care attention, which constitutes a direct public health threat to the community" states the WEF note. It adds that even when patients attend treatment, social disapproval of their family or community members decreases compliance with treatment. Proper adherence, however, is critical to avoid the development of multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB). Social isolation, experienced rejection, shame and blame due to TB diagnosis can lead to psychosomatic stress, loneliness and feelings of hopelessness.

Various studies have demonstrated that despite good performance of Revised National TB Control Programme the stigma in tuberculosis still remains a problem and we need to supplement the efforts in advocacy, communication and social mobalization for reducing the stigma problem among TB patients in effective control of tuberculosis.

TB Alert, a charity organization says that in some cultures, TB is associated with witchcraft. TB can be considered a 'curse' on a family, as the illness often affects multiple generations. TB is often associated with factors that can themselves create stigma: HIV, poverty, drug and alcohol misuse, homelessness, a history of prison and refugee status. People who are discriminated against may be isolated socially, particularly in small communities - even entire families may be shunned. Women are often blamed as the source of TB, and those affected by the illness may be divorced or considered unworthy of marriage. Fear of discrimination can mean people with TB symptoms delay seeking help, making it much more likely that they will become seriously ill and infect others. related stigma,discrimination,demystify misunderstandings,contracted tuberculosis,amitabh bachchan

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