1. Factual information about TB as a disease and its treatment
Information about TB and its treatment should be explained to the patient. This includes:
- what causes TB, how it is spread, the symptoms of TB and what can happen if TB is not treated;
- an explanation that TB is treatable and curable, and how to access treatment for TB;
- how TB is treated: how long the treatment lasts, the types of medicines that are used to treat TB and the possible side-effects of the medications;
- the effects of TB treatment on other comorbidities (e.g. alcohol, illicit drugs etc.);
- what could happen if a patient stops taking TB medications against the advice of the healthcare provider;
- why starting treatment quickly after diagnosis reduces the risk of transmission to others;
- the infection control practices that help to reduce the risk of spread of TB;
- what the available support services are and how to make a referral plan and/or organize integrated care at an early stage in case of other comorbidities.
2. The rights of people affected by TB
The Patients’ Charter for Tuberculosis Care (10) outlined the rights and responsibilities of people with TB. The charter encouraged a person-centred approach in the treatment of TB, and encouraged collaboration between patients, communities and health-care providers in order to improve TB care. In 2019, WHO also declared the rights of people affected by TB (9). These are outlined in Table 2.
Table 2. The rights of people affected by TB and obligations of state and non-state actors