Overcoming socioeconomic barriers to TB care: the case for social protection

Investigator: Priya Shete, MD

Location(s): Brazil


Social and economic factors are a critical component of patient centered access to and adherence of TB care. TB is caused by poverty. Social Protections are interventions that address individuals’ social and economic risk. ( health insurance, disability benefits, food baskets, microfinance). Social protections can have direct and indirect outcomes in health access and adherence.

Brazil and Bolsa Família Program(BFP) is a social welfare program of the Brazilian government. Bolsa Família provides financial aid to poor Brazilian families; if they have children, families must ensure that the children attend school and are vaccinated. The program attempts to both reduce short-term poverty by direct cash transfers and fight long-term poverty by increasing human capital among the poor through conditional cash transfers. It also works to give free education to children who cannot afford to go to school to show the importance of education.

This study will look prospectivly at a cohort study of 1,239 individuals on TB treatment in seven Brazilian capital cities from March 2014 to April 2017. We are interested in outcomes associated with conditional cash transfers linked to pro-health behaviors, and most specifically at TB medication adherence among the cohort.