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Gun Disease in Myanmar
By Spike Johnson
10 Oct 2013

In the gold mines of Sinktu and Thabait Kyin, in the Mandalay division of Myanmar, gold mining is famous. Over thirty gold mines are active, but the scene doesn't look much like wealth. Half naked men, with rusty pneumatic drills and homemade dynamite are lowered 500 feet, on fraying ropes, into holes in the ground. Covering their faces with rags, they drill gold ore from the stone.

“We break the rocks with high pressured guns, but breathe the small particles that come from breaking the stone. We contract lung infections that we call "gun disease," says Wat Tay, 35, a gold miner from Sintku Township.

This year gold production in the area has doubled due to softening government sanctions and international demand. Myanmar's huge mineral deposits are seen as key sectors in export-driven growth. In recent months the price of gold has slowly risen in Myanmar, possibly linked to the decline of the dollar, as an opportunistic public sell their jewelry at high prices ready to buy back if prices drop.

Forums are being held in capital cities by the Myanmar government, mine owners, and the Ministry of Mines to persuade foreign investment from corporate companies for industrial technology. The idea is to reduce Myanmar's poverty rate from 26 percent to 16 percent by 2015, by exporting the country's gold reserves. However, added demand for export means an increased need for manpower, working hours, and medical support.

Through the night groups of men squat above mine shafts, ankle deep in muddy puddles, waiting to haul out ore or winch up their friends. After working in the mines for around ten years, the worker's lungs give in form undiagnosed diseases. Hidden in bamboo huts, attached to oxygen, they weaze out their last days.

“The owners of gold pits don't care about the health issues of the miners, so the health problems are increasing. They don't pay for safety protection for us, so we make do ourselves, like putting some clothes over our mouths, or buying cheap masks to reduce the dust we breath in,” says Wat Tay.

Miners are given one or two bananas after a shift in the tunnels, to help with nutrition. But no respiration equipment is provided by the mine owners, and the miners don't have the money to invest in equipment themselves. Although cases are frequent, perhaps inevitable, there is no health care system for the miners and no diagnosis of “gun disease.” Instead they are given a tank of oxygen and left to fend for themselves, too weak to seek other employment or to leave their huts.

“I can't breathe well. If I breath my abdominal muscles are tight and it hurts also in my back. I pain feel when I breathe. Twice they've given me pills for Tuberculosis, but this medicine has no effect for me,” says Kwin Tone Sel, 42. He used to mine in Sintku Township, before his lung disease prevented him from leaving his bed.

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Tuberculosis In Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By U.S. Editor
14 Jul 2013

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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Loss of Livelihood | Tuberculosis in ...
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

A young tuktuk driver suffering from tuberculosis in the slums of Phnom Penh. Tuberculosis render patients weak with severe weight-loss (unable to perform physical work) and stigma at work place (infectious disease, loss of job). Tuberculosis is a slow killer and health condition affect the self-employed people as well.

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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The Daily Dose | Tuberculosis in Camb...
Takeo, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

A female peasant in a village consuming her daily dose of TB medication.

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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The Daily Dose | Tuberculosis in Camb...
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

Hands of a patient receiving medications for the day from an NGO community health worker.

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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Older population more vulnerable | Tu...
Takeo, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

An old female patient with TB medicines in hand. Though the disease prevalence varies by country, TB tends to infect older people more as compared to other age groups. This is enhanced in poor population due to malnutrition and weak immune systems.

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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Public Health Sector in Cambodia | Tu...
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

A patient shown to be undergoing the chest x-ray for the diagnosis of pulmonary negative tuberculosis at CENAT. These tests are supposed to be free under the public sector, but the patients end up paying for quick access and test results.

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Isolation | Tuberculosis in Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

An old patient waiting for TB test results in Phnom Penh. The patients admitted in the government hospitals are kept in separate wards away from the administration and other areas.

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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Isolation | Tuberculosis in Cambodia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
By Aman Singh
12 Jul 2013

The TB patients admitted in the government hospitals are kept in separate wards away from the administration and other areas.

Cambodia is one of the 22 countries most affected by tuberculosis in the world. The country ranks second in the prevalence rate of tuberculosis, after South Africa. To get cured, the patients have to go through a stringent six-months daily-dose therapy of multiple medications. Often, these medications cause severe side-effects and co-infections with other diseases like HIV/AIDS, Cancer, etc make the lives of patients impossible due to drug interactions. This leads to lack of compliance which may result in multi-drug resistant TB, a lethal form of the disease and almost a death warrant. Once infected, the cure from this disease under the public sector of such a country is not a small hope to live by. Therefore, there is a stark dejection in the lives of people suffering from tuberculosis.

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Dead Cities 12
Syria, idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
18 Mar 2013

Despite the wetness, darkness and cold, mothers are forced to raise up their children in these difficult conditions.

Syria, Robia. March 18, 2013.

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Dead Cities 22
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
18 Mar 2013

Elderly man, an IDP, walking with a kid throughout ruins of Serjilla.
Syria, Serjilla. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 6
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
17 Mar 2013

IDP's settlement in the ancient ruins. Living in these conditions can cause tuberculosis, rheumatism and leaves people exposed for Leishmaniasis.

Syria, Shensharah. March 18, 2013.

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Dead Cities 5
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
17 Mar 2013

Temporary shelter for IDP. In windy, misty, and winter weather people suffer from the cold. Soon with the change of the season, sun, flies, and and lack of water will became the new curse.

Syria, Shensharah. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 20
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
17 Mar 2013

Ruins of Roubia became shelter for refugees from Kfroma village.
Syria, Robia. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 16
Syria, idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
16 Mar 2013

IDP's who run from villages in Jebel Zawiyya.

Syria, Shensharah. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 15
Syria, idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
16 Mar 2013

Small boy at the doorstep of a grave which became home for refugees from nearby villages.

Syria, Shensharah. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 13
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
16 Mar 2013

Young boy in temporary resident crypt.

Syria, Shensharah. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 11
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
16 Mar 2013

At this time most of the kids can't go to schools. This IDP boy lives in a crypt underground.

Syria, Shensharah. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 8
Syria,Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
16 Mar 2013

Refugees from Kfaroma. Many families live in ancient crypts underground.

Syria, Robia. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 7
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
16 Mar 2013

Refugees from Jebl Zawiyya. Access to food is very difficult and is one of the biggest problems for IDPs who are faced with hunger and sicknesses.

Syria, Shensharah. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 4
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
16 Mar 2013

Tray with containers of orange juice.

Syria, Shensharah. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 1
Syria, idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
16 Mar 2013

Ms. Amina with her newborn baby Yahya. Amina is extremely exhausted and isn't able to provide milk for her son.

Syria, Shensharah. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 19
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
16 Mar 2013

A kid hanging up laundry between the trees. Lack of fresh water is among many problems for IDP in Syria.

Syria, Shensharah. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 18
Syria, idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
16 Mar 2013

A woman preparing a meal. Twigs are used for the fuel for a simple grate.

Syria, Shensharah. March 17, 2013.

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Dead Cities 14
Syria , idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
15 Mar 2013

Caves became shelter for many families form Maarat Noman, a town which is under continuous shelling.
Syria, Om Alsyar. March 16, 2013.

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Dead Cities 2
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
15 Mar 2013

An injured father and his son who is playing with a toy gun.

Syria, Om Alsyar. March 16, 2013.

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Dead Cities 10
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
01 Feb 2013

Ismail Khodoor Al-Yosef, 75 says while crying that he has lost hope of anyone helping them in their difficult state.

Syria, Shensherah. Feb 02, 2013.

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Dead Cities 9
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
01 Feb 2013

IDP smoking a cigarette inside a crypt which is now his home. He had to leave his house and seek for shelter in the ancient ruins.

Syria, Shensharah. February 02, 2013.

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Dead Cities 3
Syria, Idlib province
By Maciej Moskwa
01 Feb 2013

A girl named Samar, who suffers from Leishmania; a tropical disease.

Syria, Shensharah. Feb 02 2013.