A small health clinic in the south of New Delhi, doctors and community health workers are tackling the tuberculosis crisis in their midst. This one location manages the care of almost 100 TB patients, including drug-resistant forms of the disease — difficult, expensive and often deadly.
Having tuberculosis can be imprisoning in so many ways. The symptoms. The stigma. The endless stream of medicines. The isolation from family and friends, work and school. The sheer duration of treatment. It’s a brutal disease that measures its awful toll in months and years.
From the Faces of TB series. Solving the world’s toughest global health problems doesn’t happen without a wide array of partnerships. But critical, and often overlooked, are the people who agree to participate in clinical trials of vaccines. They help the world understand more about the diseases we fight, how we fight them, and how we get closer to answers we need. To solutions. So many individuals, like this man, in their own ways, help move us forward, together.
What does a car wash have to do with TB vaccines? Effective, genuine community engagement is key to the success of any clinical trial. And that is certainly true for TB vaccines, where we work with some surprising stakeholders to make progress.
Beyond the central hospitals and district facilities of Malawi, there are “Healthy Centers.” These rural outposts serve thousands in extraordinarily resource-challenged settings. Yesterday’s visit to Migowi was to a Healthy Center, where just a handful of nurses and staff are the only healthcare providers available for a catchment area of hundreds of square kilometers.