In Our Lifetime?: World Tuberculosis Day 2013

Distributing education material at a World TB Day event. Kunming, China

Upon first describing my research—on tuberculosis (TB) control in China—I’m generally met with glassy stares or feigned interest. When people ARE instantly captured, I get the feeling that much of it comes out of an anxious hypochondria that’s more about themselves than anything that I have to say. A bit of an exaggeration, okay, but to be sure: TB is not the “sexiest” of research topics.

And that’s part of the point of my work.

Did you know that approximately 30% of the world’s population is already infected with the TB bacillus? Or, that TB is seventh on the list of top causes of morality worldwide, at 1.4 million deaths (4.3% of all deaths)? Or, that 8.7 people fell ill with TB in 2011?

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