Mercy – Uganda

Oyella Mercy is a 15-year-old schoolgirl from Kitgum, in northern Uganda. She is receiving treatment for MDR-TB in a program run by a nongovernmental organization. Oyella Mercy describes how she caught the disease: “It was transmitted from our father. He died in 2008 at the hospital. I was 13 years old when I got TB. I had stomach pains, and a cough, and I used to vomit. I went to hospital, just me myself, for one year.”

Her original treatment course failed, and in 2010 she was diagnosed with MDR-TB. She began treatment for her disease, which is now being provided within her own home. “I started getting injections for six months. After stopping, I started taking drugs. Some drugs are difficult: I felt pain in the joints and stomach pains.”

Oyella Mercy is living in a thatched hut constructed for her by the nongovernmental organization in her family’s compound. Now in the last few months of her treatment, and no longer infectious, Oyella Mercy is well enough to have returned to school. “Now I am feeling a little good. I’m going to school—I like learning. When the treatment is finished in May, I’ll feel happy, I’ll play with my friends and I’ll dance, because I’ll be cured.”

Story Collected by: Natasha Lewer (Médecins Sans Frontières) and Andrea Stultiens (freelancer)