Captured somewhere in Pakistan, this image shows Pakistani Field Epidemiology Training Program (FETP) resident, Dr. Najma Javed, as she was checking for the Bacillus Calmette–Guérin (BCG) vaccine scar on the shoulder of a young child, who was held on his mother’s lap during the exam. The BCG vaccine protects children against tuberculosis.
The FETP trains workers on the ground to help countries build sustainable capacity for detecting and responding to health threats. The program develops in-country expertise so that disease outbreaks can be detected locally and prevented from spreading.
BCG, or bacille Calmette-Guerin, is a vaccine for tuberculosis (TB) disease. Many foreign-born persons have been BCG-vaccinated. BCG is used in many countries with a high prevalence of TB to prevent childhood tuberculous meningitis, and miliary disease. However, BCG is not generally recommended for use in the United States because of the low risk of infection with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the variable effectiveness of the vaccine against adult pulmonary TB, and the vaccine’s potential interference with tuberculin skin test reactivity. The BCG vaccine should be considered only for very select persons who meet specific criteria and in consultation with a TB expert.
For more on the FETP, or about the BCG vaccine, see the links below.