“I cannot tell you a lie my friends, that is the most stigma I have faced up to now, but I have a strong heart,” writes Grace Lamwaka (July 1st, 2011) on the TB&ME blog launched by the nonprofit organization Doctors Without Borders, otherwise known as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
Grace is a 26-year-old woman from Kitgum District, Uganda, who has been diagnosed with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, a neglected and stigmatized disease that currently demands long, painful treatments. She has been blogging about her experience for seven weeks, starting with a post titled “The beginning” (May 17th, 2011).
She is one of eight bloggers so far who has been enlisted to tell the world about her life with tuberculosis in her own words. The project was initiated to give voice to patients from around the globe and to help bring about improved treatments. According to the TB&ME site:
Many of the patients sharing their stories (especially those in MSF projects) do not have access to computers or the internet. In these cases, the patients record their posts and it is translated/transcribed and posted by MSF…. Where patients in this situation receive questions and comments, any answers they choose to give will be recorded and transcribed.
Sarah Boseley’s global health blog at the Guardian (30 June 2011) provides a glimpse into the history of tuberculosis. For more on the future of this disease, check back with Grace Lamwaka as she continues to tell her story. “Thanks again for reading,” she writes in her most recent post.