Nurjahan Khatun workingNurjahan Khatun smiles broadly - she loves her work. Sitting on the ground, she operates a handmade wooden loom, spinning dyed cotton thread to be used for making clothes, a major industry in Bangladesh.

She lives in the Pabna district of Bangladesh and contracted TB when she was 35. She was not able to work, which affected the whole family as they were not able to buy enough food. Her husband left her.

Our programme workers arranged for her to receive the correct drugs and she is now cured. Her son lives with her and works as a rickshaw driver.

Pabna is one of the oldest districts of Bangladesh, with a total area of 2,376 square kilometres. With a population of more than 2,523,000, that’s at least 1,060 people in each square kilometre. Such a high density, along with poor living conditions and a lack of knowledge about diseses mean that TB is easily transmitted.

Rahaman (aged 17), Subho (18) and Mizan (20) are great friends and spend most of their time together. They also live in a small, remote village in Pabna. When Rahaman was diagnosed with TB, it wasn’t long before the other two were infected.

Treatment for them all started in March 2014 and will last for two years. Vaccination as the first phase is followed by streptomycin, an antibiotic. Unusually, they all have multi-drug resistant TB, despite no previous history of the disease.

All three friends are now feeling much stronger.