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Tackling the prevalence of Tuberculosis amongst poorly housed minority ethnic communities in London

This briefing argues that the spread of tuberculosis (TB) is exacerbated in urban communities where overcrowding, inadequate ventilation, and the presence of mould and smoke in the home are rife. Focussing on the transmission of TB among migrant groups, this paper explores the need to address factors that make black and minority ethnic communities particularly vulnerable to infection, and discusses measures to improve the provision of housing services targeted specifically at these groups.

Key messages

  • Tuberculosis (TB) is not a thing of the past, and must be recognised as a major public health problem in today’s capital.
  • The risk factors for TB are excaberated by poor living conditions
  • The growing prevalence of TB amongst minority ethnic communities in London is linked to treatment-based factors, lack of adequate housing conditions and socio-cultural factors.
  • Tackling TB must go hand in hand with raising awareness and tackling poor housing.


  • TB is not ‘a thing of the past’
  • Why is TB more prevalent amongst minority ethnic communities?
  • What can be done?
  • Who is carrying out good practice?
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Author(s): Patel, Heenali; Sharma, Kiran;
Briefing series: Better Health Briefing Paper 20
Publisher: Race Equality Foundation
Publication date: July 2012