2nd Place / Editorial / Photo Essay and Feature Story

TB Silent Killer

  • Photographer
    Probal Rashid
  • Date of Photograph
    2014-15
  • Technical Info
    All images took by DSLR camera

Tuberculosis is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent. The WHO’s Global Tuberculosis Report 2014 underscored that the highly contagious disease remains the second biggest infectious disease killer, infecting an estimated nine million people last year and killing 1.5 million. Over 95% of TB deaths occur in low and middle income countries. Tuberculosis is much higher in developing countries such as Bangladesh, which ranks sixth among 22 highest burden TB countries in the world. WHO estimates that approximately 570000 people are currently suffering from TB disease in the south Asian country. Every year more than 300,000 people develop TB and 66,000 TB-related deaths occur in Bangladesh alone. This treatable disease is becoming one of the major silent killers in the world.

Story

Tuberculosis (TB) is a worldwide public health problem. It is caused by bacteria that spread from person to person through microscopic droplets released into the air. This can happen when someone with the untreated, active form of tuberculosis coughs, speaks, sneezes, spits, laughs or sings. The incident of TB is much higher in developing countries such as Bangladesh. The country ranks sixth among 22 highest burden TB countries in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that approximately 570000 people are currently suffering from TB disease in Bangladesh. Every year more than 300,000 people develop TB and 66,000 TB-related deaths occur in Bangladesh. Every day patients get admitted in TB Hospital (NIDCH) National Institute of Diseases of the Chest and Hospital in Dhaka and sometimes they have to wait a long time for a bed to become available. Across the country, every day, nearly 50 patients come to meet the doctors in this hospital. For many people, there is little awareness about TB and access to health care is limited in Bangladesh; poor nutrition and hygiene make people more susceptible to developing active TB, and cramped living conditions allow the disease to pass more easily from one person to another. In these photographs I hope to show the pain and misery that TB can cause, but also convey a sense of the community and environment where the disease is found. Nearly a third of the world’s population is infected with the bacteria that cause TB. It is a disease whose presence, and threat, is felt globally.

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