International

From terror to treatment: Three TB stories

A man standing outside

Andrey Yushko

When someone in Turkmenistan learns they have tuberculosis (TB), the questions they need answered come thick and fast. What is this illness? Will it kill me? Can I get treated for it? How will it affect my family? Will I lose my job, or even my home?

TB can kill. But the disease is curable, although treatment in Turkmenistan is a long and difficult process. And poverty and stigma can make recovery even more difficult.

That’s why, for more than a decade, the British Red Cross has worked with our partner – the Turkmenistan Red Crescent – to support thousands of people through months of treatment and recovery. More

Ebola virus disease explained: Q&A

©IFRC/VictorLacken

©IFRC/VictorLacken

An outbreak of Ebola has left thousands dead in West Africa. The Red Cross, along with other humanitarian agencies, is working to stop the spread of the deadly and highly contagious disease.

1. What is the Ebola virus?

Ebola virus disease is a severe and often fatal illness – outbreaks have a fatality rate of up to 90 per cent, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Outbreaks occur predominately in remote villages in Central and West Africa near tropical rainforests.

The first incidence of Ebola was in 1976 in two simultaneous outbreaks: in Nzara, Sudan, and in Yambuku, a village in the Democratic Republic of Congo close to the Ebola River, from which the disease takes its name.

The origin of the virus is unknown. The current Ebola outbreak is the largest ever documented, both in terms of the number of cases and the size of the affected area.

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In pictures: the difference clean water and toilets make in Kenya

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In developed countries such as the UK, it’s easy to take simple things like flushing a toilet or a glass of water for granted.

But an estimated 2.5 billion people (more than one third of the world’s population) do not have access to basic sanitation such as toilets.

And then there’s the issue of fetching water. The average distance walked by women in Africa and Asia to fetch water? A sobering 3.5 miles.

World Water Day on Sunday serves as a reminder that much more needs to be done to address the global imbalance.

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Cyclone Pam: volunteers on the front line

©IFRC

©IFRC

The amount of destruction caused by Cyclone Pam, which hit a string of Pacific islands last weekend, is still unknown. But we do know the disaster has left people in its path dead or injured, and many thousands homeless.

Aid workers from around the world have been racing to the countries affected, including Vanuatu, in the wake of the disaster.

But one team was in action before the cyclone had even arrived. More

Listen: Why is the Red Cross treating cows?

©ICRC/PawelKrzysiek

©ICRC/PawelKrzysiek

Life without cattle for people in South Sudan is unimaginable. Cattle are currency and they play a huge role in the lives of nomadic tribes throughout the country.

The conflict in South Sudan has left cattle exposed to diseases. Losing cows to disease could devastate livelihoods for thousands of people.

That’s why the Red Cross is vaccinating and treating cows – more than half a million have been vaccinated so far.

Listen to this podcast with Rob Donnellan, a returning Red Cross aid worker, to find out why cattle are so important to the South Sudanese.

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“The world has forgotten”: An artist’s take on the Syria crisis

A man holds a milk bottle

© Matt Percival/BRC

How can one image sum up four years of violence, fear and hardship?

A new artwork is using more than a thousand milk bottles to mark four years since the start of the conflict in Syria.

No One Home has been curated by Syrian artist Ibrahim Fakhri, who now lives in Oxford. He describes the impact of the crisis – and reveals how art can show people the reality of life for those affected. More