Disciplining sexual and reproductive behaviour of tuberculosis patients in Bangladesh: a mixed method study exploring divergent messages
This research paper has been co-authored by Mrittika Barua, Assistant Professor, BRAC James P. Grant School of Public Health, BRAC University, Dhaka, Bangladesh and Francien van Driel, Assistant Professor, Anthropology and Development Studies, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands.
Tuberculosis is an infectious disease that is widely prevalent in Bangladesh,1 with pulmonary tuberculosis being more prevalent than extra-pulmonary tuberculosis.2 Despite this, there is scant literature on the influence of messages from policy makers and health workers on the sexual and reproductive health (SRH) of tuberculosis patients. Such scarcity is crucial to address when, despite incorporating SRH rights into policies,3 there is meagre implementation and social recognition of these rights in Bangladesh. To ensure the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of patients, we need to understand how information on SRH is integrated and reproduced in the medical discourse on tuberculosis and to what extent the treatment regimen affects SRH. This paper analyses policy documents, an NGO’s guidelines, and the messages delivered by health workers to reveal whether national policies and the instructions delivered to patients address SRH matters, such as intercourse, breastfeeding, pregnancy, and contraception, in relation to tuberculosis treatment.
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