Malawi men posing obstacle in TB fight – experts

The reluctance by most men in the country to go for Tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis is affecting the fight against the disease, research by Malawi-Liverpool Welcome Trust (MLWT) has revealed.

The research which is in its third stage and focuses on engaging men in TB control reveals that most men tend to hide illness and avoid medical diagnosis inorder to protect their ‘masculinity’.

The research notes that the pride men have in protecting their maleness has left them vulnerable to the disease which is killing more people globally aside HIV and Aids and Malaria.

Its findings were presented during a capacity building quarterly meeting on Science Reporting by MLWT researcher, Moses Kumwenda on Thursday.

Community TB awareness event in Malawi
Community TB awareness event in Malawi 

“Fear of being tested other illnesses such as HIV and Aids as well as fear of being seen accessing medical attention in hospitals are some of the reasons why men do not go for medical diagnosis and this is one of the challenges affecting the fight of TB in the country,” Kumwenda said.

Scarcity of testing equipments in public hospitals and shortage of staff has been cited as also some of the reasons affecting effective response to TB.

“Since men want to be providers and bread winners, they would rather feign that are not seek just to be on their toes working tirelessly. And most men do not accept assistance from their spouses, this force them to ignore any health problem and could not bother to seek medical help until it gets worse”.

According to Kumwenda they have drafted a proposal seeking funds to implement some of the recommendations raised in the research.

Some of the proposed recommendations include improving men’ capacity in accessing formal health care, and creating awareness and advocacy to strengthen interface between communities and health care providers.

According to World Health organization (WHO) there are nine million TB deaths globally each year. And out of 1.7 million deaths, 0.25 million are people living with HIV and Aids.

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