Although tuberculosis (TB) is preventable and curable, it is the second-biggest infectious disease killer behind HIV and claims nearly 1.3 million lives each year.
The spread of drug-resistant strains of the disease is increasingly recognized as a public health emergency. Drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) is an umbrella term that refers to tuberculosis strains which resist the drugs routinely used to treat conventional TB.
Photographs by Krisanne Johnson. Happiness Dlamini is an MSF patient on treatment for multi drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Swaziland. The treatment for MDR-TB requires taking less effective drugs with terrible side effects for up to two years. Happiness has 21 months of treatment remaining.
Their reality is grim – the thousands of migrants and refugees existing on the margins in South Africa. They lack access to proper health care and shelter and face physical and verbal abuse, police harassment and xenophobic attacks. For these migrants, proper legal status is often difficult to obtain, if not impossible. Gangs prey on them when they cross the border into South Africa and in the derelict buildings where they find temporary housing. As a result, many face further threats living in dangerous conditions, particularly in Johannesburg. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing health care to these vulnerable people in Musina, a town on the border with Zimbabwe, and in Johannesburg.
In the landlocked and mountainous country of Kyrgyzstan in central Asia, prisons have long been a breeding ground for tuberculosis (TB). Many prisoners are released before concluding their treatment and if they are unable to continue treatment they are more likely to delevop resistant strains of the disease.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) began an HIV/AIDS clinic at Arua Hospital in the West Nile region of northern Uganda in 2001. Today, MSF provides antiretroviral (ARV) treatment to more than 3,000 people living with HIV/AIDS here.