Invisible Killer

A journey into Tuberculosis and its deadliest declinations



Tuberculosis (TB) is second only to HIV/AIDS as the greatest killer worldwide due to a single infectious agent. In 2013, an estimated 9 million people developed tuberculosis and 1.5 million men, women and children died from the disease, which heavily affects the most poor and marginalized communities in the world. Africa carried the greatest proportion of new cases per population with 280 cases per 100.000 population in 2013 and, despite the huge progress made over the years to combat this disease, in South Africa TB is still the leading cause of death.


High co-infection with HIV, poor medication adherence and densely populated township communities have led to the dissemination of Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB) and Extensively Drug Resistant TB (XDR-TB) among the population, that occurs when a strain of TB bacteria becomes resistant to two or more "first-line" antibiotic drugs prescribed to combat standard TB. MDR-TB and XDR-TB can only be cured with the use of very expensive and toxic second line drugs, and mortality is up to one third off all the patients.

In South Africa the infections on MDR-TB passed from 2.000 cases in 2005 to 10.000 in 2014, and the country has one of the highest rate of new cases: 20 every 100.000 inhabitants.

The multimedia project Invisible Killer is a journey into TB and its deadliest declinations in some of the  poorest neighborhoods in South Africa.