Socially marginalized populations, such as migrants, drug users, and miners, are at increased risk for contracting tuberculosis due to poor environmental conditions, such as malnutrition, stress, overcrowding, and transitory or unstable housing. In addition, they face barriers to health care such as lack of resources, knowledge, as well as high levels of stigma and discrimination.
When seeking care for TB, they also face legal obstacles to obtaining treatment across borders and health care systems that are not integrated and do not address their varied needs and specific challenges. As a result, these populations are at higher risk of delays in diagnosis and treatment, and treatment interruptions that increase TB transmission and facilitate the development of drug resistance.
The Public Health Watch Project of the Open Society Institute's Public Health Program, AIDS and Rights Alliance of Southern Africa, and Human Rights Watch presented a discussion that highlighted the particular vulnerabilities of undocumented migrants, drug users, and miners to TB infection, the barriers they face to TB diagnosis and treatment and creative approaches to providing these populations with appropriate TB care that respects their human rights.
This discussion was moderatored by Cynthia Eyakuze, project director for Public Health Watch.
- Boniswa Seti, Treatment Literacy and Advocacy Programme, ARASA
- Dr. Kathleen Moser, TB and Refugee Health Services, San Diego County, Puentes de Esperanza and Cure TB
- Joe Amon, Health and Human Rights Program, Human Rights Watch
Stop TB Partners Forum
Centro de Convenções SulAmérica
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil