Stories of healthcare workers on the front lines of the TB epidemic

Every day, millions of healthcare workers around the world are putting their lives at risk as they combat tuberculosis. They're vulnerable to TB exposure and infection. And they deserve to be protected. These are their stories.

1. Durban, South Africa: Uvi

Dr. Uvistra Naidoo contracted a severe form of multidrug-resistant TB during his medical residency. Three years, one week, and one day later he was cured. He’s one of the lucky survivors. Today, TB is the leading cause of death in South Africa and healthcare workers like Uvi are at risk.

2. Vellore, India: Susheela

Susheela contracted TB as a nurse in one of the largest hospitals in India. Her story, the first healthcare worker to die of XDR-TB in India, became a catalyst for change. Meet the family she left behind and see the true ravages of TB on the healthcare worker community.

3. Delhi, India: Shelly

Dr. Shelly Batra, founder of Operation ASHA, is an innovator in TB service delivery. Her organization combats the disease in some of most challenging settings in India, with proven results. But to the patients they serve, Operation ASHA’s staff are more than just health workers—they are leaders, educators, friends and family. See how Operation ASHA is making a difference and defining best practices for TB care.

4. New York City: Vivian

In places like the United States, TB is often overlooked. Dr. Vivian Huang treats patients in New York City and sees the potent risk that globalization poses in the spread of an airborne disease like tuberculosis—especially in a densely-packed city like New York. Without a vaccine, tuberculosis is a threat to healthcare workers, their patients, family and friends.

5. In search of solutions

CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden knows the global TB crisis from firsthand experience. With perspectives from Dr. Frieden, Uvi, Shelly, Susheela and Vivian, we examine the urgent need to protect our healthcare workers from the diseases they work to treat. There is more that we can do now, but the only permanent solution is the creation of an effective TB vaccine.