Most people living in developed countries think of tuberculosis as a disease of the past–the mal de vivir that afflicted 19th century poets and factory workers, but no longer weighs into modern life.
Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. Each year, over 8 million people are affected by tuberculosis and 1 million end up succumbing to the disease. What was once dubbed as a “romantic disease” is now a “disease of poverty”: of the 22 countries identified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as high-burden tuberculosis countries, all are “developing countries.” Six are in Southeast Asia. Vietnam is one of them.