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STOP TB - The Afghanistan Portraits

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A poster for the exhibition Afghanistan portraits in Hanover, GermanyThe photographs have been produced with the support of the National Stop TB Partnership in Afghanistan and WHOThe photography exhibition "STOP TB - The Afghanistan Portraits" is an exhibition of portraits of people with TB taken by the international humanitarian photographer Laura Salvinelli in western Afghanistan.

TB is a disease of poverty. In Europe, infectious disease were eradicated by medical advances and improved living conditions from the middle of last century. However, annually around 9 million people fall ill with TB and 1.3 million die from the disease. Malnutrition, poor living conditions, war and displacement  contribute to its spread.

Especially in Afghanistan, a country that experienced war and during the last 30 years, tuberculosis a major health problem. Around 80% of the victims of the disease are women.

The causative agent of the disease is the bacterium Mycobacterium tuberculosis that is transmitted through coughing and sneezing. Although the disease is curable, the treatment becomes more complicated by the emergence of resistant variants of the pathogen.

Salvinelli is representative of positive photography. With her impressive portraits Salvinelli does not show "victims" of the disease, but human beings with individuality and dignity. The exhibition contains detailed text researched and written by representatives of the National Stop TB Partnership in Afghanistan, WHO and the Geman microbiologist Matthias Stehr, the exhibition´s curator in Germany.

The exhibition explains the historic background of the country, the living conditions of the Afghan people and the strategies for the fight against tuberculosis in Afghanistan. It is being shown  at the University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Foundation from 20 December 2013 to 15 April 2014.

From 20 April to 30 May the exhibition will be shown to a wider audience at the “House of the Region” in Hannover. The exhibition venue is located next the campus of the tuberculosis health center in Hannover, the capital of the federal state of Lower Saxony. The opening session will  include a high-level panel discussion with scientists, public health experts and ex patients who have been cured of the disease.

Photo exhibition (in German) 

Photo essays

Photo essays

Photo essays

Key health-related statistics

Population (m) 29.7
Health expenditure (% of GDP) 9.5
Adult (15+) literacy rate (%) 34.8
Life expectancy at birth F/M (2010) 63.2-63.6

Sources: Central Statistics office, Afghanistan National health Accounts, Afghanistan Living Conditions Survey, Afghanistan mortality survey. 

Framework for health information systems and core indicators for monitoring health situation and health system performance, 2018

Afghanistan country health profile

Regional Health Observatory

WHO Afghanistan Programme Overview 

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