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VIDEO: Nurses on the front lines of TB

By David Bryden, Stop TB Officer, RESULTS

This post originally appeared in the ACTION Global Health Advocacy Partnership Blog

For many people, tuberculosis is a dirty word associated with poverty and poor living conditions.  And when a patient is contagious, there is a risk to others.  All of this can lead to TB patients being treated with less than the love and concern they need to stick with the long, difficult course of treatment and get better.

What can be done about it?  Frontline health workers, especially the nurses who confront serious personal health risks by working in a TB unit, can tell us a lot about what leads to stigma about TB and what solutions there may be.

While attending the Union World Conference on Lung Health I had the privilege of interviewing a very impressive TB nurse, Tania Monteiro.

Tania is a nurse and trainer of nurses from Portugal who recently contracted tuberculosis and, after a difficult fourteen months of treatment, was cured. In this interview she talks about why she found her diagnosis hard to accept and what it was like to suddenly find herself a patient. She speaks movingly about why patients need not only medication but also care, support and information.