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Date/Time, and Location Webinar (Registration)

Register here: https://forms.gle/Ru4rV28E3MJLGM4d6

Globally, an estimated 10 million people fell ill with TB in 2019, with women accounting for 32% of those affected. Though more men have TB, women are affected disproportionately. Women face greater stigma and discrimination due to TB than their male counterparts which can greatly exacerbate their social and economic insecurity. TB in women is responsible for increased illness and death in children. It has been associated with a six-fold increase in the risk of perinatal death and a doubling of premature birth and low birthweight. Evidence shows that TB increases the risk of HIV transmission from infected women to children. Women may also have less access to TB treatment and prevention services than men due to cultural norms and inequalities.

A TB response that is gender-sensitive is imperative to tip the scale and achieve Health For All. More women in affected communities and women’s advocates need to be engaged in efforts to design and enhance access to TB services for women. TB prevention, diagnosis, and treatment should form core components of health interventions for women, particularly along their reproductive life cycle. This is vital, especially in high HIV and TB burden settings. This has also to be addressed for the LGBTQ+ community, the sex workers, women using drugs, and women with disabilities who have to go through additional stigma and discrimination in seeking healthcare. Human rights and equity challenges should be effectively addressed while rolling-out the End TB Strategy to ensure that socio-cultural barriers and stigma are effectively eliminated, providing women access to high-quality care, free of catastrophic costs and social repercussions.

The WHO and GCTA are organizing a special #EndTB webinar to mark International Women’s Day under the theme #ChooseToChallenge. We need to challenge the current set-in-stone ways that impede a gender-sensitive equitable TB response and transition to a more multisectoral approach that enables universal access to care. What we need is a paradigm shift and this webinar is envisioned to be a starting point of that colossal shift.


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