Annual Review 2014-15: Treatment and care

Joined up treatment and care is the route to a successful cure. Antibiotic treatment cures TB, but the course is long – at least six months – and often comes with difficult side-effects. Many patients cannot afford the time or cost of frequent visits to the clinic, and they may not have adequate nutrition to aid their recovery. Practical and emotional assistance, such as nutrition packages and peer support, can be crucial to help them keep going. Without this support patients may miss doses or stop treatment altogether, risking ongoing transmission, drug-resistance and, ultimately, death.

Jean and friendSupport to complete TB treatment

Jean (pictured, left), was diagnosed with pulmonary TB following an emergency admission to hospital. Homeless at the time, he was discharged back on to the streets where he struggled to keep taking his medication. Jean’s poor health and limited English meant it was difficult for him to complete the paperwork he needed to obtain sickness benefit. Fortunately, his TB Nurse secured him a hostel place and a food grant through TB Alert’s Patient Support Fund. Jean has now recovered and is grateful for the support he received: “For a time, the voucher from TB Alert gave me the only food I had each week. I want to say thanks.”