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I’m Coughing Blood Again – Angola 2015



“I’m coughing blood again.” Moses gasped for breath, his chest muscles visibly contracting with each respiration. The starved figure of this man of twenty-six bespoke of profound malnutrition, infirmity, or both. His chest examination revealed distant, wet sounds divulging deep infection and his chest X-ray… Lacking an adequate view box, I’m here holding the film up to the sky. The white circle, where the clouds appear, is a density caused by pneumonia, abscess or cancer.


As our conversation continued I discovered the Moses was diagnosed with tuberculosis a year earlier. He began taking the appropriate treatment and within four weeks felt fine. Then like so frequently occurs Moses stopped his intended six-month treatment course. Now his infection was back, likely resistant to the original medications, and much more difficult to treat.


TB is the most common infection afflicting humans. One-third of all people on earth are infected. If we focus outside of Europe and North America, fully one-half of the world’s population is TB-positive. What can possibly be done on behalf of people like Moses? Current medications usually work. But they often require coaching to assure that people finish the treatment course. Healthcare professional need to assure such coaching. There exists a TB vaccine. But it is only marginally effective. Do you have a research interest? Pioneering develop of a superior TB vaccine holds promise to protect people like Moses in every nation.

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