In South Africa, tuberculosis (TB) affects more men than women. Desmond Tutu Health Foundation has called for men’s voices to be considered when designing treatment and prevention programs.
The Desmond Tutu Foundation said that the current ‘one-size-fits all approach’ is not working well enough to fight the TB epidemic. Instead, interventions need to do more to incorporate men’s voices, and challenge masculine tropes that create barriers to holistic treatment.
During a webinar organized by the International AIDS Society (IAS) on Tuesday, Andrew Medina-Merino of the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation said that men need to be empowered to challenge unhealthy masculinity norms that affect their health.
“The global TB community should engage and consider men’s voice when designing interventions to improve TB health outcomes,” Medina-Merino said. “They should also empower men to challenge the norms of unhealthy masculinity that affect their health because a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t working, and ignoring men’s voices is an epidemic for all.” Will maintain and spoil. “
Medina-Merino was speaking during a webinar ‘Addressing the needs of TB screening, prevention and treatment of people living with HIV in the era of COVID-19’. Desmond Tutu Health Foundation is a non-profit company established in collaboration with Desmond Tutu HIV Center.
TB is the leading cause of death, especially among men
A study in KwaZulu-Natal found that TB is the leading cause of varying life expectancy among men and women. TB contributes 81% to the life expectancy difference of 11.2 years between men and women living with HIV and 43.1 to 13.1 years between those without HIV.
“The South African Remox TB study found that adverse treatment outcomes were higher in men than women due to infections from previous TB infections, and a host of other studies found that men lost in care or died in treatment More likely, “said Medina-Merino.
“In 2017, 63% of all microbiological cases of TB in South Africa were in men. In addition, the incidence of TB is approximately two to three times higher in men than women in many age groups.
Men feel ‘isolated’ on treatment for TB
The Desmond Tutu Health Foundation conducted another study at the Buffalo City Metro Health District in Eastern Cape Province, explaining men’s treatment experiences. They found that the men described a feeling of isolation during TB treatment.
“The men described the desire and willingness to support other men during the treatment of TB with both mental and tangible resources. Many men talked about places where they felt comfortable talking about men’s issues and suggested that these spaces might be conducive to conversations about TB, a common theme being that These places were mainly dominated by men. And men reported feeling isolated from their families and communities during TB treatment and advocated community awareness to reduce their isolation.
According to Medina-Merino, none of the TB treatment aid interventions included the preferred methods of delivery men described in the study.
“Men have emphasized the need for peer-to-peer support to navigate stigma and unhealthy masculinity norms related to TB. [They] It is advocated for awareness programs to educate our communities about the challenges men face when they become ill with TB, and those interventions should be delivered to familiar places where men congregate. But to date, no TB support intervention has included the preferred components or methods of delivery described by men in our study.-Health-e-news