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Level and Manifestations of TB-Related Stigma Among People with Tuberculosis in Tanzania

Background: TB-related stigma is a recognized barrier to efforts to End TB. It affects early diagnosis and timely initiation of treatment and can potentially interrupt treatment. Understanding the dimension of TB-related stigma and its manifestations is critical to planning appropriate TB stigma reduction responses. However, this information is largely unknown in Tanzania. This study assessed the level and manifestations of self-TB-related stigma among people with TB. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was deployed to collect quantitative and qualitative data among people with TB in five regions of Tanzania between September 2021 and February 2022. Face-to-face interviews were used to obtain data from the participants using a modified questionnaire developed by the Stop TB Partnership to assess TB-related stigma among TB patients. Descriptive and thematic analysis were used to summarize and present findings. Results: Four hundred eighteen (418) participants were recruited, of whom 276 (66%) were males. The overall level of self-TB-related stigma was 40%, predominated by agreement of behaviours and attitudes limiting disclosure of TB status. TB-related stigma commonly manifested as social isolation, fear of contracting TB, verbal abuse, gossip, and an unwillingness to share eating utensils. Conclusion: This study showed a relatively moderate level of self-TB-related stigma among TB patients, characterized by fear of disclosure of TB status. Moreover, TB patients are inclined to be socially isolated, gossiped, and maltreated. These findings suggest the need to include TB stigma reduction responses in national TB prevention and control efforts.

Tuberculosis, Stigma, Level, Manifestations, Tanzania

Wilbard Deogratius Muhandiki, Ndakibae Gabriel Mabega, Lucas Eliaimringi Matemba, Gerald Phares Mwing’a, Oscar Leonard Kaswaga, et al. (2023). Level and Manifestations of TB-Related Stigma Among People with Tuberculosis in Tanzania. European Journal of Preventive Medicine, 11(5), 63-71.

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