On March 24, World Tuberculosis Day, hundreds gathered in Tboung Khmum province as part of a global awareness campaign, “Invest to End TB. Save Lives.”
The number of people who were treated for tuberculosis in 2021 decreased 26 percent compared to the previous year, according to the National Center for Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control (CENAT), which said the COVID-19 pandemic was responsible for the drop.
From January 2020 to November 2021, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) screened 15,034 migrant workers in Cambodia for tuberculosis. It found that only 1,519 had tested for the disease, of which 342—including 166 women—tested positive and were referred to health centers for treatment.
Though COVID-19 has seized the world’s attention for nearly two years now, another, more familiar respiratory disease has lingered as one of the world’s most deadly infectious diseases.
“Villagers and neighbors also discriminated against my family because they were afraid to be infected with tuberculosis from me,” Lida said.