Dr. Ngubane's Story of #TBCourage
Dr. Nosipho Ngubane is a researcher in South Africa focused on studying new treatments for patients with TB and HIV. For International Womens Day, she shared her story of #TBCourage:
Dr. Ngubane believes that new TB treatments for patients that are shorter and more effective “could make a very big difference” in the community.
“We have a very high burden of TB and treatment defaults because of the length of the treatment and also the adverse events of the drugs,” she says. Shorter regimens that are easier for people to take will make it “easier for people to comply and take their treatment until the end.”
“In our settings, we find more women with TB and HIV coinfection,” says Dr. Ngubane. These women “are expected to work…they have to put food on the table, the family expects [a woman] to work at home, to do the washing for the family and to look after kids.”
Even if a woman has TB and cannot work, “you have to go to bed without food because you’re not working – you have TB, you have HIV, you’re not able to afford even what you can eat as a patient.”
“Financially, the country is wasting a lot of money on TB,” says Dr. Ngubane. New, faster-acting regimens can be more cost-effective compared to spending “more money for more drugs and for the length of time. That’s a burden for the Department of Health.”