TB treatment success rates found to be higher in women

A study conducted by Dr. KS Sachdeva of the Revised National TB Control Program of the government of India found that tuberculosis treatment success rates were higher in women than they were in men.

Among new sputum positive cases of TB registered in 2009, the success rates were 89 percent among women and 87 percent among men while fewer women - four percent - dropped out of the treatment than men, who dropped out at a rate of six percent, reports.

Despite the better TB treatment outcomes in women, there are more delays in getting women diagnosed and put on standard treatment, according to a study conducted in Nepal.

In many countries, men have a higher burden of TB, but more women are detected with TB in countries like Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, according to The WHO Global TB Report 2010 stated that men are twice as likely to get TB and that 35 percent of incident TB cases reported globally were in women.

While the RNTCP mostly uses gender neutral strategies, there are some efforts to reach out to women and men with TB that are not accessing services available for their conditions. This includes involving female healthcare providers and ASHA workers in the RNTCP, stigma reduction through mass media and interpersonal communication with family members.

TB is the third leading cause of death worldwide among women aged 15 to 44. In 2008, there were 3.6 million women infected with TB and 700,000 deaths. Some settings cause women who become ill with TB to be discriminated against, stigmatized or ostracized by communities and families.