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Reference : V-P-PH-E-01074
Date : 11/03/2020
Country/Region : PHILIPPINES
Caption : Laguna, Calamba, regional tuberculosis infirmary. A woman visits her husband suffering from tuberculosis. This disease has been present for many years in detention facilities in the Philippines, where the conditions are favorable to its spread. Lessons learned from fighting tuberculosis help in dealing with the pandemic of COVID-19 affecting detention facilities.
Photographer : AZNAR, Jes
Confidentiality level : public
Publication restrictions : publication without restrictions
Copyright : ICRC
Description : ICRC website, article, 24.03.2020, extract

COVID-19: Lessons from Philippines jails show how to fight infectious coronavirus disease
As COVID-19 focuses the world’s attention on infectious diseases, we have our eyes on one of the most dangerous places for the spread of such outbreaks: prisons, where densely packed people and (often) limited access to health care make for a risky situation.
Overcrowding, poor ventilation and infrastructures, deficient health, hygiene and sanitation conditions favours the spread of infectious diseases – whether the novel coronavirus COVID-19 or tuberculosis (TB) which can rapidly affect a large number of people inside detention facilities. While COVID-19 is caused by a virus and TB by bacteria, both may have devastating effects on vulnerable groups such as the elderly and those with chronic diseases.
TB, for example, is known to be 100 times more prevalent in detention facilities than in the community. And based on the World Prison Brief database, the Philippines was ranked highest in the world in jail occupancy rate in their latest report. As of 19 March 2020, according to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), the congestion rate in their 467 jails is at 534 per cent.
Overcrowding has been a challenge for many years inside Philippines jails. (…)

"When I first learned that my husband had TB, my only desire was for him to get treated. It doesn't matter if he's far so long as he receives proper treatment. I visit him twice a week. It takes me an hour to visit him. We talk about the naughty things our grandchildren do. I also bring him food. At first, I was afraid to visit him but I thought he would feel sad if I didn't. And that instead of getting well here, he might turn for the worse. My being his wife overcame my fear of getting TB." – A woman visiting her husband who has just finished his TB treatment. Her husband was moved to the infirmary from a jail in Batangas in October 2019 upon TB diagnosis through one of the TB mass screenings. (...)
Original material : digital
Resolution : 4781x3194
Orientation : landscape
Colour/B&W : colour