To mark World TB Day, Dr. Zolelwa Sifumba was planning on coming to London to meet with decision-makers and discuss her experience of surviving multidrug-resistant Tuberculosis and working as a healthcare professional in a low-resource setting. In light of the coronavirus pandemic, it isn’t safe for her to do so, but we still want to find a way of marking the day, to help us understand more about the challenges faced by people affected by TB, how their experiences might change as a result of COVID-19, and what we can do to tackle both.
Zolelwa Sifumba is a medical doctor from Durban, South Africa, currently doing her internship in the Department of Health and working as a community service medical officer. She contracted multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) as a medical student. After struggling through a very trying 18-month treatment process and finally beating the disease, she has become an international advocate to help educate, raise awareness and show that TB can be beaten.
Zolelwa featured in a recent documentary on MDR-TB, called UnMasked: We All Breathe, which shines a light on the challenges faced by those undergoing treatment for MDR-TB. Featuring three South African medical doctors, it also looks at what it means to fight a deadly infectious disease at work and your own body.
We’ll be sharing short clips from the film alongside some reflections from Zolelwa, and you will have the chance to ask her some of your own questions.
These are uncertain times for us all, and we kindly ask that all participants come ready to learn, to engage in a discussion that is respectful of people’s fears and vulnerabilities, and are committed to finding ways we can work together to end preventable deaths and protect the human rights, dignity and well-being of all people around the world.
Watch the Trailer for UnMasked: We All Breathe: