First of all I want to thank MSF for the public event organized in celebration of International World TB Day. I am very glad that I was invited for this day. I can say I am very proud of being the patient of MSF.
This event, organized as an art work competition about TB, was great. The exhibition was celebrated in a museum of the city of Osh and really there were a lot of people [about 1,300] and a lot of art works [close to 400]. I liked specially two of them. The title of the exhibition was “Stop TB in my Lifetime” and mostly the art works reflected the possibility of treatment of TB. Also a lot of people were reading the information flyers and exchanging the information between each other.
The organisation of the day was excellent. Guests were offered sweets and coffee. There were musician and a Master of Ceremony. The musician did his best and the Master of Ceremony was speaking about TB. All people present took part in quiz games about TB and the winners were awarded special prizes. For the art competition, the public was voting for the best posters and it was difficult to choose the best because all of them were well done.
I also could take part of all of this. I and other of the MSF patients were invited as guests. The other patient was Karim and I was happy to see him there. A lot of people attended who wanted to know about TB and both of us spoke to the audience. I was interviewed by 3 local televisions. There were also other local newspaper reporters. Just at the end of the event, both of us announced and awarded prizes to the three winners of the competition. Both of us were very happy to do that.
I can say that it was one of the happiest days of my live. I had thought that I was going to die and I was there, in this crowed event, awarding prizes. I was so happy that I spontaneously started dancing on the stage.
But this is not the first time that I collaborate with MSF in this kind of community awareness activities. I also was invited to participate in a national TV interview and to the regional TB symposium organised by MSF in late 2012. I write this blog and now I just participated in the TB Day event.
When I take part in these activities I feel I've been given a chance to help people believe in TB treatment. To believe in the possibility to get cured. I am a living proof of this. I want to tell people all around the world that TB can be cured. From my own perspective I can testify to people who don’t believe in it.
I remember at the beginning of the MSF TB project there was a lot of resistance about the new model of care. People were scared and confused and spread wrong information. I didn’t know what to think myself but I risked it and believed that I would get cured. And now, as you see I've changed to the better. I gained weight. My appetite improved. I went back to my community and got back all that I had lost.
If I had a chance to address people all around the world I would wish them good health! And people who have TB, please, always listen to the doctors and drink all drugs you are prescribed. I would say all of them: “Believe that you will get cured”. I am a proof of that!