Tuberculosis (TB) is a serious public health issue that affects people of all ages, including young adults. Despite being curable, TB continues to be a leading cause of death in many parts of the world. In addition to its physical impact, TB can have a profound psychological impact on young adults, causing them to experience feelings of stigma, shame, and isolation. Breaking the silence around TB is crucial to improve the lives of those affected by this disease and to prevent its spread.
TB is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It primarily affects the lungs but can also spread to other parts of the body, such as the brain and spine. Symptoms of TB include a persistent cough, chest pain, weight loss, night sweats, and fever. In many cases, TB is treatable with a combination of antibiotics, but if left untreated, it can be fatal.
The impact of TB on young adults is significant. Young adults are in a crucial stage of their lives, when they are establishing their careers, building relationships, and forming their identities. When they are diagnosed with TB, they may experience a range of emotional and psychological effects.
One of the most significant impacts of TB on young adults is the stigma associated with the disease. Many people still view TB as a disease of the past or as a disease that only affects people who are poor or have weak immune systems. This stigma can lead to discrimination and social isolation, causing young adults with TB to feel ashamed and embarrassed about their condition. This can further lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, and low self-esteem, which can have a negative impact on their overall health and well-being.
Another impact of TB on young adults is the financial burden it can place on them and their families. TB treatment is often expensive and can last for several months, putting a strain on finances. Many young adults with TB may have to take time off work, further compounding the financial burden. In addition, the cost of transportation to and from medical appointments and the cost of medications can be prohibitively high for some families. However, this problem can be tackled by visiting government hospitals where the treatment of TB is free of cost.
The impact of TB on young adults can also influence their education and career prospects. Many young adults with TB may have to take time off school or work to receive treatment, causing them to fall behind in their studies or careers. They may also struggle to find employment after treatment, as employers may be wary of hiring someone with a history of TB.
Breaking the silence around TB is critical to reduce the impact of the disease on young adults. Raising awareness about the disease and its symptoms and educating people about the importance of seeking medical help if they suspect they have TB, can help to reduce the stigma associated with the disease. Improving access to affordable and effective TB treatment is also crucial to reduce the financial burden on families and young adults.