First, allow me to introduce you to tuberculosis. Some of you may have received your TB skin test after receiving a new job or volunteer opportunity. I, personally, have probably taken about six TB tests in the past three years alone. But do we actually know what our jobs are testing us for? Do we even care?
Probably not. That is because America had an incidence rate of 4 cases of tuberculosis out of 100,000 people between 2008 and 2010. The chances of any one of us acquiring tuberculosis and then dying of it here in America are pretty slim to say the least. Swaziland, however, is not so lucky. While we saw 4 cases of tuberculosis out of a 100,000 people population, Swaziland saw 1,257. Over one thousand incidences!!! And I will tell you that tuberculosis does not sound like a fun disease to have. Because TB is an airborne bacterial disease, it usually hits the lungs first. Unfortunately, it also spreads to the kidneys, the spine, and the brain. Symptoms include chest pain, coughing up blood, fatigue, weight loss, loss of appetite, chills, and fever. Left untreated, tuberculosis can be fatal. Remember the character in the picture? That's Anne Hathaway, who played the role of Fantine in Les Miserables. In the movie, Fantine died of tuberculosis, or more casually known as consumption.
So why is this disease a main concern in Africa but people in America couldn't care less about tuberculosis? And why should we get involved in curing diseases in countries other than our own? I will tell you! Next week. Stay tuned :)