This photograph was captured on March 26, 2014, in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, and depicts Pakistani Field Epidemiology Training Program (PFETP) residents, Dr. Ayaz Chohan, and Dr. Khushal Khan Kasi, as they were in the process of checking an infant for the Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) vaccination scar, enabling these doctors to verify that the child had been immunized 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.
For more on the FETP, or the BCG vaccine, see the links below.
BCG 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.