TB Policy in Brazil: A Civil Society Perspective
Published by the Open Society Institute's Public Health Watch project, TB Policy in Brazil: A Civil Society Perspective challenges the Brazilian government to improve its record on TB, which kills more than 5,000 Brazilians annually and is a leading cause of infectious death for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Drawing upon extensive field research and interviews with a wide range of patients, health care workers, and policymakers, the report notes that public awareness of TB's symptoms and its treatment options is shockingly low, even among people living with HIV and other groups at high risk of infection. Moreover, federal agencies seem unable to supervise the quality of TB control services at the state and municipal levels. Most states and municipalities fail to provide the incentives that many patients from disadvantaged backgrounds need to adhere to the demands of TB treatment, like bus tickets and food coupons.
The report combines its critiques with a number of constructive policy recommendations for the Brazilian government, including the following:
- Ensure opportunities and mechanisms for the people and communities affected by TB to engage substantively in TB policy development and implementation.
- Empower and support community leadership by providing community groups appropriate technical support and training.
- Redouble efforts to raise public awareness about the magnitude of the TB problem in Brazil and to publicize the availability of TB services.
English-language and Portuguese-language versions of the report are available for download.