Only 26% of Ukrainians know that continuous cough is the key symptom of tuberculosis. Research
March 24 is the World Tuberculosis Day. TB epidemic in Ukraine was officially announced in 1995 when the incidence of the disease and TB related mortality were rapidly growing. Annually, nearly 40,000 new and recurring TB cases are registered in Ukraine. In 2010, there were 5,600 new multi-resistant TB cases registered in Ukraine.
Rinat Akhmetov Foundation “Development of Ukraine” carried out a research among general public and certain groups on TB awareness within the Program “Let’s Stop Tuberculosis in Ukraine” with financial support from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.
Only 26% of Ukrainians know that the key symptom of tuberculosis is the cough which lasts over 3 weeks. Almost 6% are aware that excessive sweating during nighttime may indicate tuberculosis. 70% of interviewees know that tuberculosis is curable. Respondents demonstrated highest level of awareness in regard to the main way of TB transmission – droplet – answered correctly by 80%. 54.6% respondents are convinced that the highest risk of contracting tuberculosis is from prisoners, whereas the probability to contract TB in public places is as high. Only one fourth of respondents (23%) know that TB diagnostics is free of charge and only 7% think that treatment can also be obtained at no charge. Among the voiced key reasons for not consulting a doctor were the high price of medical services (27.3%) and general reluctance to see a doctor (20.3%).
“Today, awareness of Ukrainians about key symptoms of TB, ways of transmission and treatment methods is one of the main factors of overcoming the epidemic in Ukraine. If people do not possess enough knowledge about tuberculosis, there is little chance they would go for TB diagnostics even given the favorable treatment conditions and access to medication. Research carried out within our Program has demonstrated that 30% of people do not know that tuberculosis is curable and communication with those who had been previously sick is quite safe. Therefore, we will continue making efforts to raise awareness of the population”, noted Tetiana Bilyk, Director of the Program “Let’s Stop Tuberculosis in Ukraine” implemented by Rinat Akhmetov Foundation “Development of Ukraine”.
The research was held throughout October 2011 – January 2012. 5004 respondents were interviewed in 81 cities, 26 urban settlements and 99 villages of Ukraine.
More information about overcoming tuberculosis can be found here: stoptb.in.ua or over the hotline 0-800-50-30-80.