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Open Access Defining the research agenda to measure and reduce tuberculosis stigmas

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Crucial to finding and treating the 4 million tuberculosis (TB) patients currently missed by national TB programmes, TB stigma is receiving well-deserved and long-delayed attention at the global level. However, the ability to measure and evaluate the success of TB stigma-reduction efforts is limited by the need for additional tools. At a 2016 TB stigma-measurement meeting held in The Hague, The Netherlands, stigma experts discussed and proposed a research agenda around four themes: 1) drivers: what are the main drivers and domains of TB stigma(s)?; 2) consequences: how consequential are TB stigmas and how are negative impacts most felt?; 3) burden: what is the global prevalence and distribution of TB stigma(s) and what explains any variation? 4): intervention: what can be done to reduce the extent and impact of TB stigma(s)? Each theme was further subdivided into research topics to be addressed to move the agenda forward. These include greater clarity on what causes TB stigmas to emerge and thrive, the difficulty of measuring the complexity of stigma, and the improbability of a universal stigma ‘cure'. Nevertheless, these challenges should not hinder investments in the measurement and reduction of TB stigma. We believe it is time to focus on how, and not whether, the global community should measure and reduce TB stigma.
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Keywords: discrimination; equity; human rights; respect; social justice

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Oxford Health Evaluations, Oxford, UK 2: KIT Royal Tropical Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 3: KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation, The Hague, The Netherlands 4: Global Tuberculosis Institute, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, USA 5: London School of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, London, UK, Zambart, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia 6: Human Sciences Research Council, Durban, South Africa 7: US Agency for International Development Global Health Bureau, Washington DC, USA 8: Centre for Research in Primary and Community Care, School of Health and Social Work, University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield, UK 9: Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 10: Department of Epidemiology, McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada 11: Department of Health, Ethics & Society/Care And Public Health Research Institute, University of Maastricht, Maastricht, The Netherlands 12: The Work for Change/Irish Forum for Global Health, Dublin, Ireland 13: Global TB Programme, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland 14: Institute for Medicine and Public Health, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee, USA 15: London School of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, London, UK 16: University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 17: Department of Sociology, Centre for Longitudinal and Life Course Studies, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium 18: International Center for Research on Women, Stigma Action Network Secretariat, Washington DC, USA 19: University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium 20: Netherlands Leprosy Relief, Amsterdam, The Netherlands 21: Department of Epidemiology, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Publication date: 01 November 2017

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

    Certain IJTLD articles are selected for translation into French, Spanish, Chinese or Russian. They are available on the Union website

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