This is Gul Rahim’s story of typhoid, as told to Attaullah Baig of Aga Khan University Hospital on January 7, 2017, and translated into English. The interview was conducted in Urdu and has been edited for clarity and length.

More than 300 researchers from 45 countries gathered in Kampala, Uganda in early April for the 10th International Conference on Typhoid and Other Invasive Salmonelloses.

For years, little was known of the typhoid burden in Africa, even though outbreaks of multi-drug resistant typhoid is becoming increasingly common. This lack of information spurred the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to fund the Typhoid Fever Surveillance in Africa Program (TSAP) through the International Vaccine Institute, a first-of-its-kind study established to shed light on true extent of the typhoid burden and multi-drug resistance distribution on the continent. The results from the TSAP, recently published in the Lancet Global Health, represent the most comprehensive and rigorous analysis of typhoid in Africa and could change our understanding of the disease burden across the continent.
As 2016 has come to a close, our team at the Coalition against Typhoid would like to take a moment to reflect on this busy year. It was a year that illustrated, more clearly than ever, that typhoid is a continuing and major threat to millions around the world. Over the course of 2016, an estimated 21 million people – most of them children – suffered from typhoid. Of these, 220,000 died of the disease. We saw typhoid outbreaks in Malawi, Fiji, Zimbabwe and other countries. In endemic countries like India and Nepal, the monsoon season worsened the impact of this disease. In 2016, typhoid struck at ordinary places like schools and weddings, and also at the most vulnerable places, such as refugee camps, reminding us that this disease doesn’t discriminate.

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