Get to know our project Não Vale TB
The treatments, the bad information, the fears that Tuberculosis causes takes people who lives with this disease feel even more excluded. They are stigmatized by society, and sometimes by those closest to them, like their family and friends.
The Não Vale TB project, which consists of an outreach team that intervenes in the sub-region of Vale do Sousa and Baixo Tâmega, more specifically in the municipalities of Penafiel and Marco de Canaveses. One of the regions most affected by tuberculosis in Portugal and with the highest per capita index in Europe.
This project aims to contribute to the prevention, control and diagnosis of tuberculosis, as well as to promote literacy and adherence to treatment.
The project is aimed at people in vulnerable situations. Through networking with the various entities of the community, it is intended to provide an adequate and individualized response to the needs of these populations.
For more information about the project see this link:
To complement this project, we also have a podcast in partnership with Rádio Clube de Penafiel, and with funding from DGS. An informative podcast on tuberculosis, with professionals in the area, which takes place on Thursdays, at 10:45 and 17:45.
You can listen to this podcast (only available in Portuguese), through the link: http://www.radioclube-penafiel.pt/?it=podcast
Tuberculosis and the treatment
Tuberculosis is a disease that seriously affects the lungs. Its treatment involves taking antibiotics and other drugs for a minimum period of 6 months, often on a Direct Observed Intake (DOI) regimen, that is, taking the drugs needs to be controlled by a health professional. The treatment requires a lot of care, during this period of time, the person has to be isolated for an average period of 1 month.
Issues related to tuberculosis and why Não Vale TB was created
Although it is a healing disease, social vulnerability interferes in many ways with the success of treatment. Imagine having to travel daily, for 6 months, to a health establishment to take a medicine. The costs associated with these journeys are difficult for many people to bear. In rural areas, people face many difficulties in terms of mobility, transport is scarce, making it difficult to travel to treatment centres.
Tuberculosis is transmissible, thus an added problem for a tuberculosis patient. The use of a public transport or even asking for support from a family member to go to the treatment are factors that cause tension, because the patient knows that he/she can transmit the disease.
It is because of these issues that the Não Vale TB project believes in the outreach work to overcome some of these difficulties. By moving to the places where users live, we can provide various services and support such as Tuberculosis screening and other health situations and monitoring of community services where necessary. In addition, we are articulated with health institutions, among others, to ensure the ease of access to treatment.
The social isolation to which this pandemic has forced us produces even more harmful effects in people infected with Tuberculosis.
A study released by the Stop TB Partnership concluded that the COVID-19 pandemic will cause an increasing number of cases and deaths, because social isolation leads to fewer diagnoses and consequently fewer treatments. The study concludes that we can expect a delay of 5 to 8 years in the overall goal to combat tuberculosis.
We are living in a context where we are encouraged to prevent, treat and care. We can do all this and continue to live in society.