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Tuberculosis in Prisons

6 June, 2014


Last year I wrote a blog post for the TB CRE covering a story about Ravindra Patil who died of tuberculosis after having spent time in Mumbai Central Prison. The piece inspired me to read more about the spread and control of tuberculosis in prisons. Though not comprehensive, the following is a list of links to articles about tuberculosis in prisons. This list does not necessarily represent the places where we find the highest rates of TB among inmates. However, the list does indicate places where it has been possible for researchers to gather data. Of the 22 countries identified by the World Health Organisation as having a high-burden of tuberculosis, intriguingly not all (such as Mozambique, Myanmar and mainland China) have accessible data on TB in prisons. Kudos to those countries who allow research into tuberculosis to be conducted in their prisons. Only through obtaining the proper data can we hope to improve the condition of people infected with a survivable and curable disease.

Australia: Article 1, Article 2
Azerbaijan: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3
Brazil: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4
Burkina Faso
Cameroon: Article 1, Article 2
Central Asia
Developing countries
Ethiopia: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3
Former Soviet Union
Haiti: Article 1, Article 2
Hong Kong: Article 1, Article 2
India: Article 1, Article 2
Kenya: Article 1, Article 2
Malaysia: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3
Pakistan: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4
Russia: Article 1, Article 2
South Africa: Article 1Article 2, Article 3
Sri Lanka
Sub-Saharan Africa: Article 1Article 2
Thailand: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4, Article 5, Article 6
The Philippines
Uganda: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 4 
United Kingdom

United States of America: Article 1, Article 2
Zambia: Article 1, Article 2

WHO, Tuberculosis in Prisons
WHO literature review
PLoS Review
UN, HIV in Prisons (with mention of TB)


Final thought:
The strong relationship between overcrowding and the spread of tuberculosis might make us think about the exposure of refugees in places such as Nauru and Christmas Island. (WHO, Tuberculosis care and control in refugee and displaced populations)

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