TB remains the single biggest killer of adults in the world - someone dies of TB every 15 seconds, nearly all in developing countries. TB particularly affects the poor. TB is a highly stigmatised disease - that is, TB patients are despised and shunned by the public. This adversely affects their lives, leading to isolation and depression, and limits their access to diagnosis and treatment. Up until now, the causes of this stigma and discrimination have not been properly studied.
Our ESRC/DFID funded research (RES-167-25-0557) suggested that shame associated with poverty is ubiquitous and structural being imposed by others in their dealings with people in poverty. Shame may serve to perpetuate poverty through eroding individual agency, while policies that stigmatise could be counterproductive in adding to the debilitating effects of shame.
Tuberculosis services were modified in response to the findings from Nepal, Yemen and Ethiopia to promote equitable and increased access to health services for under-served populations, with particular focus on impacts on women.