Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

In 2022, tuberculosis (TB) remains a major global health problem, particularly in developing countries. On the Thai-Myanmar border, TB is an important problem among migrants, a vulnerable, very mobile population, with unstable, often difficult living conditions, insecure incomes, and poor access to health services.

Composite image, showing a TB doctor and patient at an SMRU TB clinic, a scene of a crowd watching 'Under the Mask', and filming.

The Shoklo Malaria Research Unit (SMRU) TB programme operates in two clinics along the Thai-Myanmar border, with laboratory and logistical support in Mae Sot, Thailand. Finding TB cases and engaging migrant and local communities to make them aware of TB, particularly multi-drug resistant (MDR) TB is critical work at SMRU.

In October 2020, SMRU TB began an active case finding TB screening programme using a portable chest X-ray system to detect TB directly in migrant communities in remote farming and rural clusters in Thailand.

SMRU TB continues active TB awareness raising activities, despite current COVID-19 movement restrictions. In 2019, SMRU TB collaborated with the FilmAid Foundation to produce Under the Mask, which uses non-professional actors from the border community to allow TB patients to tell their story of life with TB.

To commemorate World TB day on 24 March 2022, we remind you that Under the Mask is freely available on YouTube

The story of Under the Mask follows the lives of our characters as they journey from diagnosis to treatment and help from the SMRU TB team, and explores how each discovers their capacity to overcome the deadly disease and share their knowledge and experience with others. Made in the local language, this film provides an engaging and inspiring tool for raising TB awareness in the community.

Under the Mask is a powerful look at tuberculosis on the Thai-Myanmar border. Made in the local language and with the local community, it provides an engaging and inspiring tool for raising TB awareness amongst the community.

Feedback from villagers after watching the film:

“Health education with the movie is more effective than verbal sessions, because we (the community) can memorize a lot and share what’s in the movie…pamphlets are not very effective, as most villagers can’t read or write.”

“This film gives us hope and ways to escape TB”

Similar stories

OUCRU presents a new virtual exhibition: Digital Diaries, Voices from the Pandemic, COVID-19 experiences in Asia

This online exhibition showcases short films and photographs created by health-care workers and community members and documents the socio-cultural impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Indonesia, Nepal and Vietnam.

Four CTMGH researchers awarded full professorships

We are delighted to announce that four of our researchers have been awarded the title of Professor, in recognition of their research achievements, contribution to teaching, and contribution to the general work of the Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford.

INTERBIO-21st study findings could help predict infants at risk of obesity

Fetal abdomen growth and the mother’s blood fat metabolites very early in pregnancy influence a child’s weight, body fat, vision and neurodevelopment at 2 years of age

Using mathematical modelling to fight malaria

Researchers have created a mathematical model to predict genetic resistance to antimalarial drugs in Africa to manage one of the biggest threats to global malarial control.

MORU hepatitis work focusses on preventing mother-to-child transmission, high-at-risk populations, and remote communities

MORU Tropical Health Network researchers in Southeast Asia study various aspects of hepatitis B and C, infections that can lead to chronic liver diseases, and complications like liver cancer or cirrhosis. Researchers at MOCRU work on treatment for hepatitis C, a frequent opportunistic infection in HIV patients. MORU’s Clinical Pharmacology conducts two trials on possible treatments of hepatitis C. Hepatitis B is frequently transmitted from mother to child at birth, and SMRU researchers study mothers’ knowledge and behaviour, as well as prevention.

Incomplete reporting of COVID-19 disease severity criteria compromises meta-analysis

Patients affected by COVID-19 should be treated according to the severity of their disease. However, not all key national or international organisations define severity in the same way. This imprecision in severity assessment compromises the validity of some therapeutic recommendations. Using individual patient data would better guide and improve therapeutic recommendations for COVID-19.