The Return of the White Plague:Global Poverty and the “New” Tuberculosis
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The dramatic increase since the 1980s in the global prevalence of tuberculosis, a disease destined as recently as thirty years ago for complete eradication, is a story of medical failure. A pandemic whose geography defies simple categorization, it ranges from schools in the UK to prisons in Russia, from refugee camps in central Africa to affluent suburbs in North America. The ‘new’ tuberculosis is derived from a combination of different developments such as collapsing health-care services, shifting patterns of poverty and inequality, the spread of HIV, and the emergence of virulent drug-resistant strains.
This collection provides an international survey of current thought on the spread and control of tuberculosis, covering historical, social, political, and medical aspects. While the contributors may differ in their opinions over specific treatments or research methodology, all are agreed on the overriding thesis of the book – that the resurgence of disease is one of the most telling indictments of the failure of global political and economic institutions to improve the lives of ordinary people.