W6 Activity: Tuberculosis in Africa

The health issue I chose to look at is tuberculosis in Africa. I chose tuberculosis because I’ve always been interested in it and it is a disease that is really prominent in Africa. Tuberculosis is a disease that is cause by various strains of bacteria. It is very infectious because it’s an airborne disease. TB usually affects the lungs but it can affect other part of the body. ¬†Most cases of TB don’t have any symptoms so its easy for TB to develop into a critical condition without a person even noticing. Most cases of latent TB end up being fatal.

Tuberculosis is a serious disease in Africa because many people in Africa also suffer from HIV. People who have HIV contract TB easily and in many cases it ends up being fatal. The health care system in Africa isn’t equipped to deal with the large amount of people that suffer from TB and HIV/AIDS so it’s hard to combat the disease. TB is also easy to spread when people live in close proximity to one another.

I read an article about different anthropologist that are using their research from their work with TB around the world to find a way to eliminate TB. They are trying to create better programs for treating and preventing TB in order to help people that are more prone to getting the disease. They are focusing on the history of the disease and how people are affected locally and globally. All of these are important because this isn’t a disease that affects a small amount of people. It does affect people all around the world. This disease also isn’t easy to treat because there are several strains that are resistant to the medications that we already have for this disease.





One thought on “W6 Activity: Tuberculosis in Africa

  1. Hi will2035, TB has also been very intriguing to me. Although tuberculosis has not been common in the United States, the number of people who suffer from the disease is growing, testing is quite common. My sister received a blood transfusion from someone who had been exposed to, but not contracted TB, and sometimes has to get chest X-Rays when her TB test comes back positive. The article you chose is kind of a review of a conference, and summaries of some of the presentations. One of the presentations that was summarized used the biological/ecological approach, by looking at how the people live. In Africa, populations such as the homeless and the poor are more susceptible to TB. Another study looked at trying to use other methods to consider the lived experience of the patients, as most patients suffer violence and do not come straightforward out of fear, and in the study they were able to use pictures and drawings to allow them to avoid talking about the unspeakable. Another study used ethnographic research to explore the social dimensions of TB at the structural, collective, and individual level. Anthropologists provided insight into this serious illness by looking at more than just a sick person, but also the social effects of the disease.

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