TB is now the single biggest infectious killer of women in the world, with an estimated 900 million women currently infected with the disease, even though it is preventable and curable.
As TB affects women mainly in their economically and reproductively active years, the impact of the disease is also strongly felt by their children and families. Women in this age group are also at greater risk of HIV infection.
While fewer women than men are diagnosed with TB, a greater percentage of women die from it. TB kills more women than all causes of maternal mortality combined.
Sheela lives in a one room home in an urban slum Northern India, with her baby son and her husband. She earns a few rupees as a housemaid and her husband is a rickshaw driver in the city of Derhadun. Sheela developed a persistent cough and soon became too ill and weak to work. Without our help, it would have been difficult for the young family to manage while Sheela recovered from TB.