“I’m alive because of support from my family and the community health worker who brought medicine directly to my house, accompanied me during treatment and gave me hope. Without care and human support, there's no way I could be here today,” says Melquiades Huauya
, a survivor of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) from Peru.
Dozens of grown men peered from behind the barred doorway of a crammed window-less prison cell, eyes pleading desperately from sweaty faces. Their physical discomfort was so palpable, I could almost feel it. Because of my work, I also knew of at least one serious unseen risk facing them – that of contracting tuberculosis in the cramped, poorly ventilated space.
A good education for every child is an urgent global imperative, but what if entering schools puts children at serious health risks? Tuberculosis (TB), the single biggest infectious disease killer, poses a major risk for young people in countries with high prevalence of TB, and schools are among the places where they are most likely to catch it.