Cured is an exhibition of photographs depicting the everyday lives of people who have one thing in common – they all had multidrug-resistant (MDR-) or extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) and were cured.
This project was developed by The Union’s MDR-TB Unit and 7 national tuberculosis programmes in Latin America and Spain, in collaboration with photographer Javier Galeano. It highlights not only the constant presence of TB in our communities, but also that all TB cases, even those with an extensive pattern of resistance, can be cured with good clinical and operational management.
Javier travelled to Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Mexico, Perú and Gran Canaria (Spain) to document the stories of 28 patients cured of MDR- and XDR-TB, to show the full lives they have today and to celebrate their recovery.
Cured was first exhibited at the 45th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Barcelona, Spain from 28 October through 1 November. Selected photographs were published in the international Spanish-language newspaper El Pais and in National Public Radio online (USA) during that week.
This project was made possible with financial support from The Union North America; and it was directed by Executive Director José Luis Castro and Prof José Antonio Caminero, Coordinator of The Union’s MDR-TB Unit.
Special thanks go to all the people who had their photographs taken and shared their stories.
Ana Alicia lives in Acajutla, El Salvador with her son. She contracted MDR-TB in 2011 and successfully completed a 24 month course of treatment. Since 2013, she has been TB-free.
Angel was diagnosed with MDR-TB and spent 12 months in hospital before making a complete recovery in 2013. He continues to receive follow-up support, such as Vitamin B complex, while he lives life to the full in Quito, Ecuador.
Angela poses for a photo with her niece and nephew who came to visit her home in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She became infected with MDR-TB at 35 years old and spent three years in treatment. She is now cured and works as a child-minder, while leading a normal life with her own two children.
Recovered MDR-TB patient, Angela, waits to be seen for a routine consultation at a drug-resistant TB monitoring centre, where she continues to come for regular check-ups to ensure she is able to live a healthy and TB-free life.
David shows off his smile while posing with his mother, Luisa, in his home in Lima, Peru. After a year and half of treatment, he won the battle with MDR-TB.
Domitilia takes the hand of her partner, Salvador, in their home in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. At 57 years old, Domitila has diabetes, but she still successfully recovered from tuberculosis after two years of treatment.
Edgar Escudero poses for a photo in his grocery store in Quito, Ecuador, where today he works and lives with his two children. In 2010, he was diagnosed with XDR-TB and spent 24 months in treatment, before being successfully cured in 2012.
Edgar Velasquez speaks with hospitalised MDR-TB patient Monserrat. Edgar himself was diagnosed with MDR-TB in 2007 and cured in 2013. He is now finishing his undergraduate degree in environmental engineering and works as an academic assistant in the field of applied chemistry in Mexico.
Eduardo hugs his mother, Maria, outside their home in their neighborhood of El Florida in Tijuana, Mexico. Eduardo was diagnosed with MDR-TB and finished his two-year treatment regimen last year. He is now completely cured.
Former MDR-TB patient Eduardo practices football on a public pitch in the neighbourhood of El Florido in Tijuana, Mexico. After successful treatment, he is now free to enjoy a healthy and active life.
Eugenia visits her doctor for a routine consultation. Eugenia struggled with drug addiction in the midst of TB treatment and developed MDR-TB. She was cured after two years of hospitalisation and treatment and now leads a normal life in Las Palmas, Spain.
Gabriela receives a routine consultation with her doctor from the TB-HIV Programme in the Lourdes Community Unit of Family Health. Gabriela finished her 24 month treatment of MDR-TB in 2012. She lives in El Salvador and is currently studying English.
Iliana poses for a photo with her grandmother in her home in El Salvador. Iliana finished her 17 month MDR-TB treatment in 2013. She now lives TB-free and studies international marketing.
Jorge shows off his grandfather’s paintings, along with those he painted himself. Jorge was in treatment for MDR-TB for 24 months and was cured in 2013. He lives with his mother in Lima, Peru and loves to paint.
José visits the National Institute of Respiratory Disease in Mexico (INER) for a routine check-up. He finished a two year treatment in May 2014 and now lives TB-free. He can now continue to be a father to his three children and carry on with his job in construction.
Juana speaks with doctors during a routine visit in her home in Ventanas, Ecuador. She was cured of MDR-TB after 12 months of treatment.
Juana poses with her son Bryan, with whom she lives in Cantón de Ventanas in Los Rios, Ecuador since beating MDR-TB.
Karen jokes with her neighbor, Nury, in her hometown of Medellin, Colombia. After a series of ineffective treatments for drug-sensitive TB, she was diagnosed with MDR-TB when she was 24 years old. She underwent two years of treatment, including thorax surgery, but she has now won the battle and is cured of the disease.
Karen speaks with TB patient, Alvaro, during a visit to the TB laboratory in the Metrosalud Clinic of Medellin, Colombia. After beating TB herself, she became a community worker for the Tuberculosis Programme in Colombia, helping to identify people with symptoms and supporting patients to adhere to their treatment regimens.
27 year old Karen cools off. After a lengthy struggle with MDR-TB, she is now cured and free to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life in Medellin, Colombia.
Karina tastes her cooking with her mother, Emma, in her home in Guayaquil, Ecuador. After 24 months of treatment for MDR-TB, she is now cured
Kelvin enjoys his post-TB life in his Santo Domingo home in the Dominican Republic. His brother passed away from the disease and Kelvin, now 25, was diagnosed with TB at 18 years old. Kelvin underwent several courses of treatment and, after a final two year treatment regimen, he is now TB-free.
Lorenzo was diagnosed with MDR-TB in 1991, he was treated for two years and cured in 1993. Since then, he has led a completely normal life in Las Palmas, Spain.
María Guadalupe poses for a photo with her nephews in her home in Acapulco, Mexico. Maria was completely cured of MDR-TB after 18 months of treatment. She is now able to live a healthy life and has plenty of time with her family.
Mariana was born in Romania, but she has now lived in Las Palmas, Spain for seven years. She was diagnosed with drug-sensitive TB and began treatment in January 2014. She was cured two weeks before this photo was taken at a routine consultation.
Mario unloads coconuts from a truck during a visit to his home in Tres Palos, in the outskirts of Acapulco, Mexico. He underwent treatment for MDR-TB and is now totally cured.
Mario enjoys time with his mother, Divina, in their home in Tres Palos, Mexico. Since finishing his MDR-TB treatment in April 2104, he has been living free of TB and working as a fisherman.
Melecio successfully completed his own MDR-TB treatment after 18 months. He is now President and Advisor of the Association of Tuberculosis-Affected People and lives in Lima, Perú. He can be seen here telling a woman the results of her son’s TB test.
Ana Rosa and her husband, Ricardo, relax with their dog in their home in Las Palmas, Spain. The two met while they were both hospitalised for MDR-TB. They are now both free of the disease and lead normal and healthy lives.
Ricardo poses for a photo in Las Palmas, Spain. Ricardo struggled with a drug addiction and developed MDR-TB. He suffered complications for several years, which included undergoing a double lung transplant. He is now completely well and lives with his partner, Ana.
Sixto speaks with MDR-TB patient, Jorge, who is being detained because of his drug addiction. Sixto became a health advocate for tuberculosis after beating MDR-TB himself. He has two children and continues to make a huge impact in his community in Acapulco, Mexico.