The basic statistics on women are well-documented. More than 3 million women get TB each year; 480,000 die. But there are no data for pregnant women, frustrating medical professionals like Stacie Stender.
Stender is a nurse practitioner who works for Jhpiego, a Bloomberg initiative in Africa. She said the registries for TB do not note pregnancy status; neither do birth registries note whether the mother had TB. “That’s the challenge,” she said.
Pregnant women who are diagnosed with TB are treated with the same drugs as anyone else.
“Pregnant women are not enrolled in enough clinical trials. All of it is a guessing game, we don’t know. It’s better to treat pregnant women with TB, even though we don’t quite know how the toxicity will affect them,” Stender said.
--By Sandy K. Johnson