Of the nine million people who become ill with TB every year, three million of them don’t get the care they need.
Many of these people live in poor, isolated communities, outside the formal health service. With resources to tackle TB already stretched, finding and caring for them just hasn’t been the priority. It’s these people that TB Alert is trying to reach — to ensure that they can get diagnosed and treated as quickly and effectively as possible.
Our approach to both our UK and international work is the same: to help people recognise the symptoms of TB and overcome the barriers they face in accessing diagnosis and treatment, and to support them through their recovery.
We know that TB requires specialist treatment but we also know that social factors must be addressed if we are to control and ultimately eradicate TB. That’s why we use a social model of health, which looks at how wider factors than disease affect people’s health — factors such as culture and beliefs, income and access to housing, along with political and economic conditions. By considering all these, we can find better ways to ensure people get the treatment they need.