Tuberculosis or TB as it is more popularly known, is an infectious disease that is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It spreads through air. According to medical statistics nearly one-third of the population all over the world carry this microbe and annually about 9 million people are hospitalized affected by active tuberculosis.
This highly contagious disease is more rampant in prisons than in the public. Though Tuberculosis has been fought vigorously in the prisons of Caucasus, Central Asia and Africa for several years, of late, newer drug-resistant resistant strains of the bacteria are challenging the well being of prison inmates around the world. Consequently, there has been an increase in prison cases.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), a Swiss-based humanitarian group, which is concerned with the welfare of prisoners and also provides aid in conflict zones, has expressed anxiety over the rapid spreading of this disease among prisoners. According to a statement issued by the Committee, 'This is often due to overcrowding, inadequate ventilation, ignorance of preventive measures and failure to supervise and ensure adherence to treatment.'