Take action, you say? Why yes of course, do you want me to do?
Short version: Please sign our petition for better treatment and diagnosis for people with drug resistant tuberculosis! Thank you!
Want more info? Of course you do, read on dear knitter/crocheter, read on…
You may or may not know MSF does lots of work on tuberculosis, especially drug resistant tuberculosis (TB). While we thankfully don’t see much TB in the UK, it is sadly prevalent around the world, killing around 1.4 million people each year. TB does not discriminate, anyone can catch it, and drug resistance is increasing making the disease harder and harder to treat.
Last year I met a young South African woman, Phumeza Tisile, who overcame extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis, a disease that kills the vast majority of people it touches. She survived, but lost her hearing as a result of her treatment. She’s blogged about her experience for me at MSF and is a personal hero. We spent a week at the Union Lung Conference together in November and I can confirm she rocks.
Phumza (L) with fellow XDR-TB survivor Xolelwa Joni, whose twin sister Xoliswa Joni sadly died from XDR-TB at the start of this year. © Mara Kardas-Nelson November 2013
Phumeza co-wrote this petition with her TB doctor and is speaking in front of the World Health Assembly in Geneva next week to try and get them to invest in better drug resistant tuberculosis treatment and diagnosis. Pharma companies, government and leaders need to step up and work on a next generation of treatment that 1) works, 2) is bearable for patients.
What Phumeza is doing is brave and huge and daunting and I’m asking for you to sign it specifically to support her, so that she walks into that room with thousands of people standing behind her. You will also be supporting TB patients around the world. https://www.msfaccess.org/TBmanifesto/
The UK is really lagging behind in signatures, only 1,400 people have signed from the UK, out of over 40,00 petitions, and the USA isn’t doing much better, but I know what knitters are like when they get their teeth (and pointy sticks) into something. Please share this far and wide on twitter, facebook, ravelry, you name it.
Cheers my dears