Thursday, January 13, 2011

TB Survival Prize

The Tuberculosis Survival Prize is a prize created by the Tuberculosis Survival Project. With the Support of the Lilly MDR-TB Partnership an annual prize of $2000 is awarded for recognized innovation in TB/MDR-TB advocacy and social mobilization.

The prize for 2010 went to the TB Photovoice Project. It's a project that provides cameras to community members who have been affected by TB. This group includes survivors, caregivers, friends, and family. The cameras are then provided for the participants to take photographs in order to improve their community. These photographs, accompanied with their stories, are a platform for discussion about what solutions can be done about the present TB situation, adherence, support, stigma, education, and other related issues. These stories give TB a face and a voice.

Some places where this project is taking place are Brazil, Mexico, Thailand and the United States. Thanks to other survivor awards this project is now able to start in Kenya.

The founder of this project, Romel Lacson, was personally affected by Tuberculosis. He lost both his wife and his newborn daughter to tuberculosis meningitis in 2004. From this situation and the isolation from the world that his family felt when his wife was infected, this project was born.

Because this project has been paired with local organizations there have been different meanings to the different projects. This project also asks its participants to be critical of their community and its reality. It has also given them an opportunity to share. It is a support group where survivors can give and ask for advice and also provide direction.

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