M&G TB coverage gives full picture

  • Maxine Birch - 31 July 2013

The Mail&Guardian’s reporting on drug-resistant TB provides quality in-depth coverage that explores the complexities of multidrug-resistant TB and its treatment.

With thorough, well balanced and humanising coverage the Mail&Guardian last week (26 July 2013) addressed the full spectrum of issues surrounding multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

Rather than stick to facts and figures, the article places itself among recent coverage that brings a human face to the disease.

Using the personal story of Hezekiel Nyoni, the Mail&Guardian helps to break the silence around the condition which has been aggravated by the fact that patients are often confined to quarantine.

Many TB patients face prejudicial treatment due to the stigma that surrounds MDR-TB. The article reinforces the fact that though MDR-TB requires a long and rigorous course of medication for patients to be cured, treatment no longer means spending months in hospital isolated in quarantine.

The article also examines the government’s role in the treatment of MDR-TB, highlighting that the treatment success rate could be improved with better treatment facilities and by bringing treatment closer to home. Many patients spend hours travelling to receive care or  miss out on medication completely because they are unable to get to treatment facilities. This can lead to further spreading of drug- resistant TB strains.  

By providing a blend of perspectives and adding a personal account, the article demonstrates a more illuminating way of communicating the relevant issues to the readers.

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