TB is the third major killer of women aged between 15-44 years. The number roughly accounts for over 7, 00,000 deaths every year globally and afflicting millions.
TB being a global problem, primarily in developing countries, poor, malnourished and underfed are its main victims. Especially in a developing nation like India, where accessibility to healthcare and medicines is not easy, fighting against TB is a challenge and TB if left untreated can prove to be fatal.
Babies born to women afflicted with TB are also underweight and at high risk of developing the disease due to the close contact with their mother. Malnourished mothers are unable to fulfill infant’s nutritional needs and it results in lesser chances of baby’s survival.
Most women from poor families contract the ailment during pregnancy or immediately after delivery. Unhygienic conditions and change in immunity that occurs during the pregnancy period are considered responsible for that. Absence or lack of treatment, including irregular treatment, can lead to drug resistant TB, associated with a higher risk of death.
Women being the caregivers in the family suffer more as they don’t get the needed food and rest when sick. Many of them after being diagnosed with TB face isolation and rejection by the families, making it even more difficult for them to take treatment and get cured.
Effective implementation of various health programmes and proper training to health workers in diagnosis of TB in early stages can help in saving lives of thousands of poor mothers and their young children.