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Pakistan ranks eighth amongst high burden countries for TB globally.  To understand the experiences of people affected by Tuberculosis the Indus Hospital's ‘Tasweer-e-Zindagi’ project gave participants cameras and asked them to photograph their experiences, challenges, and factors that support them during their treatment.

Each photograph is accompanied by a story that contextualizes it.  These photographs and stories will be shared with community members, policy makers, and practitioners at the Tasweer-e-Zindagi gallery event held at the Indus Hospital on January 14, 2012.

This project was funded by the Stop TB Partnership's Challenge Facility for Civil Society.

This gallery event will be open for the general public on 14 January between 2 to 5 pm and on Monday and Tuesday from 10 am to 4 pm

'Before, when I was well, everyone used to visit me. My neighbours would ask about me, and we?d sit and spend time together.  But when they found out that I had TB, they stopped supporting me in every way.  My own relatives even stopped supporting me.  Ever since I?ve been sick, all they say to me is, ?Your house is broken,? ?You need to repair this,? ?This is broken from here.?  If they can?t reduce my worries, why do they come to give me more stress?  I?m not upset about my house.  Whatever the state of my house
'Before, when I was well, everyone used to visit me. My neighbours would ask about me, and we?d sit and spend time together. But when they found out that I had TB, they stopped supporting me in every way. My own relatives even stopped supporting me. Ever since I?ve been sick, all they say to me is, ?Your house is broken,? ?You need to repair this,? ?This is broken from here.? If they can?t reduce my worries, why do they come to give me more stress? I?m not upset about my house. Whatever the state of my house
?I am in this condition because of my illnesses. Not only do I have diabetes, but I also suffer from TB and arthritis. The welfare society provides me with medicine for five days a week, but I have to buy it myself for the other two days. Even buying this is very difficult. For diabetes patients, wounds that are formed in a day take a year to heal, despite treatment. Because of my TB and arthritis medication, my diabetes becomes hard to control. I can?t work, even if I want to, because I am diabetic.? ? Mohammad Da
?I am in this condition because of my illnesses. Not only do I have diabetes, but I also suffer from TB and arthritis. The welfare society provides me with medicine for five days a week, but I have to buy it myself for the other two days. Even buying this is very difficult. For diabetes patients, wounds that are formed in a day take a year to heal, despite treatment. Because of my TB and arthritis medication, my diabetes becomes hard to control. I can?t work, even if I want to, because I am diabetic.? ? Mohammad Da
?I have several illnesses. On top of everything this dog bit me. I also got treated for this at Indus Hospital. Because of my illnesses I am unemployed. How am I supposed to earn? Our public representatives do not fulfil their responsibilities; they create problems for us, when they should help us. Where can we go with our problems??    
? Mohammad Dawood, 50-year-old male, TB Patient
?I have several illnesses. On top of everything this dog bit me. I also got treated for this at Indus Hospital. Because of my illnesses I am unemployed. How am I supposed to earn? Our public representatives do not fulfil their responsibilities; they create problems for us, when they should help us. Where can we go with our problems?? ? Mohammad Dawood, 50-year-old male, TB Patient
?I really enjoy seeing my children play, but I get angry when they?re mischievous.  When I take my medication and rest, my children get very worried and wonder, ?What has happened to our mother?? I tell them that I?m not well, and they leave me alone and play on their own.  My children are considerate; they play elsewhere so that I can rest.? 

? 28 year old female, TB Patient
?I really enjoy seeing my children play, but I get angry when they?re mischievous. When I take my medication and rest, my children get very worried and wonder, ?What has happened to our mother?? I tell them that I?m not well, and they leave me alone and play on their own. My children are considerate; they play elsewhere so that I can rest.? ? 28 year old female, TB Patient
?This is the ladder in my house. Climbing it is like torture for me. When it was hot, we would go up to the roof. But now, no matter how hot it is, I have to stay down. I can?t climb up. If I do climb up, it takes me almost an hour or so, and in that time the electricity comes back on. Instead of undergoing this torture, it is better for me to just stay down. The fact is, whatever happens, one must continue living. When you are faced with difficulties, you should keep fighting.?

? Tasleem Anwar, 36-year-old male,
?This is the ladder in my house. Climbing it is like torture for me. When it was hot, we would go up to the roof. But now, no matter how hot it is, I have to stay down. I can?t climb up. If I do climb up, it takes me almost an hour or so, and in that time the electricity comes back on. Instead of undergoing this torture, it is better for me to just stay down. The fact is, whatever happens, one must continue living. When you are faced with difficulties, you should keep fighting.? ? Tasleem Anwar, 36-year-old male,
?This looks like a parrot who is locked in a cage. However, this cage actually represents our attitudes. Through our attitudes, we can get TB patients to rise above their illness and low self-esteem. This is my request to all friends, relatives, and people who think TB is a very dangerous disease. This is not a disease without a cure. Through your attitudes and love, you should support these patients so that they do not become like this lonely parrot, imprisoned in a corner.  In fact, they can become become healthy
?This looks like a parrot who is locked in a cage. However, this cage actually represents our attitudes. Through our attitudes, we can get TB patients to rise above their illness and low self-esteem. This is my request to all friends, relatives, and people who think TB is a very dangerous disease. This is not a disease without a cure. Through your attitudes and love, you should support these patients so that they do not become like this lonely parrot, imprisoned in a corner. In fact, they can become become healthy
?Whenever I go to give medicine to my patient, she makes faces. Most of the time, she tries to hide. Sometimes, she goes to her mother's house sometimes to her neighbour's house, and sometimes somewhere else. Her neighbours don?t like her coming to their houses because of her TB. Even her sisters-in- law don?t like her coming over. But she tries to hide anywhere she can to avoid the medication. I then spend 15 to 20 minutes, carefully trying to guide her. I talk to her and, while we?re talking, I give her medicine
?Whenever I go to give medicine to my patient, she makes faces. Most of the time, she tries to hide. Sometimes, she goes to her mother's house sometimes to her neighbour's house, and sometimes somewhere else. Her neighbours don?t like her coming to their houses because of her TB. Even her sisters-in- law don?t like her coming over. But she tries to hide anywhere she can to avoid the medication. I then spend 15 to 20 minutes, carefully trying to guide her. I talk to her and, while we?re talking, I give her medicine
?I have planted this tree. I like it very much. I take care of it with my father. We get fresh air because of this tree.? 

? Khurram Sharif, 21-year-old male, TB Patient
?I have planted this tree. I like it very much. I take care of it with my father. We get fresh air because of this tree.? ? Khurram Sharif, 21-year-old male, TB Patient
?We go to pray in the church. I pray here with my whole family. We pray together. Thank God, I have been cured! No matter how unwell I feel, I still go to church. My husband really stood by me. My family members and people who would visit me also really supported me. When I was in a lot of pain, we would have prayers in our house and I would cry and pray. My pastor also used to pray [for me] a lot. I got many blessings from him. I thank God that today I can walk on my own feet. If you think too much or are very str
?We go to pray in the church. I pray here with my whole family. We pray together. Thank God, I have been cured! No matter how unwell I feel, I still go to church. My husband really stood by me. My family members and people who would visit me also really supported me. When I was in a lot of pain, we would have prayers in our house and I would cry and pray. My pastor also used to pray [for me] a lot. I got many blessings from him. I thank God that today I can walk on my own feet. If you think too much or are very str
?This is that moment of happiness when I realized that I was getting better. So, in excitement, I picked up my son and threw him in the air.  He had a habit of saying ?Throw me up in the air!?  Before, I couldn?t even pick him up.  I couldn?t even hold his hand to help him walk. When I threw him in the air, I was thrilled. This showed that I?m now getting better. I felt very happy.?

? Saleem Ahmed, 27-year-old male, TB Patient
?This is that moment of happiness when I realized that I was getting better. So, in excitement, I picked up my son and threw him in the air. He had a habit of saying ?Throw me up in the air!? Before, I couldn?t even pick him up. I couldn?t even hold his hand to help him walk. When I threw him in the air, I was thrilled. This showed that I?m now getting better. I felt very happy.? ? Saleem Ahmed, 27-year-old male, TB Patient
?We are poor. Because of rising prices, we have opened a small shop. I thought I would get some money from it, but we still have no savings. My husband also works but he only gets a salary of six thousand rupees. From this, we pay our house rent. We also have to pay the bus fare to and from the hospital and buy some medication. We are very poor.?

? 26 year old female, TB Patient
?We are poor. Because of rising prices, we have opened a small shop. I thought I would get some money from it, but we still have no savings. My husband also works but he only gets a salary of six thousand rupees. From this, we pay our house rent. We also have to pay the bus fare to and from the hospital and buy some medication. We are very poor.? ? 26 year old female, TB Patient
?In our house, there is a lot of disease and there is no one to treat it.  My brother is the only one who can work, but even he does not have a job.  My father is also unemployed and is a drug-user.  Our house is also very small. Because of this unemployment, we can?t afford our medication.?  

?18-year-old female, TB Patient
?In our house, there is a lot of disease and there is no one to treat it. My brother is the only one who can work, but even he does not have a job. My father is also unemployed and is a drug-user. Our house is also very small. Because of this unemployment, we can?t afford our medication.? ?18-year-old female, TB Patient
?This is my niece. I love children. I used to sit with her, feed her, and give her love and affection. Maybe, because of this, my TB germs spread to her. Now, she is being treated at the Indus Hospital.?

? Nasir Hussain, 24-year-old male, TB Patient
?This is my niece. I love children. I used to sit with her, feed her, and give her love and affection. Maybe, because of this, my TB germs spread to her. Now, she is being treated at the Indus Hospital.? ? Nasir Hussain, 24-year-old male, TB Patient
?In the neighbourhoods where TB patients live, because of this filth, clearly there are endless problems.?  

? Naseem Hussain, 36-year-old female, Mother of a TB Patient
?In the neighbourhoods where TB patients live, because of this filth, clearly there are endless problems.? ? Naseem Hussain, 36-year-old female, Mother of a TB Patient
?This is my son's room. I have put a door netting so that he gets fresh air and light, which are good for his health. This is a good environment from a medical point of view. We have also separated his room.?
?Mohammad Sharif, 36-year-old male, Father of TB Patient
?This is my son's room. I have put a door netting so that he gets fresh air and light, which are good for his health. This is a good environment from a medical point of view. We have also separated his room.? ?Mohammad Sharif, 36-year-old male, Father of TB Patient

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Comments (10) Closed



SHAJIA AHMED Jan 14, 2012 04:45pm
ASSALAMUALAIKUM, THESE PICTURES JUST WANT ME TO HELP THESE PEOPLE. AS A MOTHER THE PICTURE OF THREE CHILDREN PLAYING OF A TB MOTHER JUST WAS VERY TOUCHING FOR ME. COULD YOU PLEASE ALSO PROVIDE WITH THEIR ADDRESS OR PHONE NUMBERS? THANKS.
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shehzad noorani Jan 14, 2012 11:38pm
Great job Shama. Images are very telling. If I may suggest, include a small paragraph on how these images were shot, + add a facebook share button.
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Osman Siddiqi Jan 15, 2012 12:29am
Thanks for sharing all these photos - you should straighten the last picture out though!
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Anoynomus Jan 15, 2012 01:24pm
Can we get contact addresses of these people so that we can help them out. These can be sent direct to my email address.
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Garg VK Jan 15, 2012 06:11pm
I am from Haryana state in India. During my youth I had also contacted TB. During that period, I can also say that many relatives have started to ignore our family. Afterwards with the treatment everything was OK. One thing I fail to understand is that why the treatment of TB is not free. To the best of my knowledge, this treatment is absolutely free in Haryana in any Civil Hospital
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Akber Jan 15, 2012 08:34pm
How can we help the families?
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Sara Jan 16, 2012 12:04pm
You can contact the Indus Hospital directly and inquire about the 'Tasweer-e-Zindagi' project. This is their website: http://indushospital.org.pk/kriz/
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malik Jan 16, 2012 01:11pm
Im not sure of all the hospitals but when i worked in rawalpindi there was a TB ward in that hospital and medicines were free. I remember the biggest problem was to convince patients to take medicines for full 9 months. As when their physical health improved after 2 or 3 months people stopped taking medicines.
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Sanjeev Sharma India Jan 17, 2012 12:00am
Could not resist posting after viewing such touching pictures. Very sad to say that both Indian and Pakistani governments keep spending heavily on weapons in order to secure our nations ( from whom only God knows). Are these diseases not our common enemy? A recovered TB Patient
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Tasweer--e-Zindagi Jan 17, 2012 10:50pm
Thank you all for your comments! You can contact us at tz@irdresearch.org The Tasweer-e-Zindagi Team
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