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Receiving healthcare for drug-resistant TB: a cross-sectional survey from Pakistan

Image: DFID/Russell Watkins

The September 2021 issue of Public Health Action features a cross-sectional survey of patients’ self-reported experiences of receiving healthcare from Pakistan’s Programmatic Management of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis (PMDT) model of care. The paper from Shazra Abbas et al. investigates the shortcomings in PMDT services that need to be addressed to improve both health outcomes and patients’ care experience.

Co-author and TB-CRE Chief Investigator Prof Justin Denholm comments:

“This paper from Shazra Abbas is an excellent example of embedded research that highlights gaps between policy and lived experience and can make a big difference for patients affected by TB. She reports in this paper on the patient experience of receiving MDR TB treatment in Pakistan. The national policy includes free treatment, direct financial payments, and additional pharmacist and psychologist support visits. In practice, however, her research shows they are exposed to high costs and economic barriers. Strikingly, 72% of MDR TB borrowed money, and 36% sold household assets to participate in TB treatment.
I hope this work is a first step in making TB services in Pakistan more accessible. It’s also challenged me to think more about the direct and indirect costs people experience in accessing TB services in Australia, and our own need for more investigation into how to support people well through our TB services.”

Receiving healthcare for drug-resistant TB: a cross-sectional survey from Pakistan

Source: Public Health Action, Volume 11, Number 3, 21 September 2021, pp. 114-119(6) Publisher: International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease DOI:

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