SWEDEN. My maternal grandmothers moms sister died of tuberculosis in her early twenties. She wanted to become a photographer and we still have some of her photos from almost a hundred years ago. What would her life been like if she had lived? And now the disease that I thought was a thing of the past have returned. 

HilleviGirlOldBoth Somalia and Afghanistan is high risk countries for tuberculosis and Sweden have taken in many immigrants and/or refugees from both countries. At the same time the medical check-ups that used to be obligatory have become voluntary. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise when tuberculosis starts to manifest and according to some the incidence is increasing. The number of teenagers between 15 and 19 that get tuberculosis have increased significantly which must be because of the large group of unaccompanied “children”.

Both immigrants and Swedes have been infected. For example children i preschools, students in schools who got sick and might have infected their classmates and employees at refugee homes. The latest case is a high school student in Oskarshamn who has become sick and have been isolated in an infection ward. 31 of his schoolmates will be tested and the sick students surroundings will be mapped.

MedicineHealthVaccination used to be obligatory, but that ended in the seventies so Swedes doesn’t have that protection anymore. Some might say that we have medicines against tuberculosis now and that’s true, thank God. But tubercular bacteria exist that are resistant and what will we do when somebody bring those here? Another thing is that the treatment is really tough and give you muscle weakness, affect your eye sight, burden your kidneys and liver.

This is just another thing that drain the states resources and cause suffering for people. Maybe it all could have been avoided with a mandatory health examination. But there was a fear that it would be perceived as offensive, maybe even racist. And being afraid of conflicts is very a Swedish characteristic.

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