What would you do if you were stuck in a hospital room for seven months? Read a few books? Maybe write a few books? What about becoming a YouTube celebrity? While under quarantine for MDR-TB, 27-year-old Christiaan van Vuuren started rapping and produced his own YouTube videos detailing his "experiences" while kept in isolation.
Christiaan, a.k.a. the Fully Sick Rapper, was born in Australia but both of his parents are originally from South Africa – hence the very South African name. Christiaan contracted the virus while holidaying in South America, and was diagnosed with tuberculosis in December 2009. In 2010 it was discovered that Christiaan actually had multidrug-resistant tuberculosis. After spending nearly seven months in isolation, plus many more taking a host of TB drugs, Christiaan is nearly at the end of his treatment.
Over the next week we will be highlighting some of YouTube videos he made while biding his time in hospital. Here is his first clip:
He also kept a blog of his experiences: you can read it here.
TB in South Africa
Tuberculosis remains the leading natural cause of death in South Africa, which continues to rank as one of the world’s 20 countries high TB burden countries.
With about 490,000 cases of TB diagnosed annually, thousands of South Africans are treated for TB every year and for some, it won't be the first time. About 14% of previously treated TB patients in South Africa will develop multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB).
MDR-TB is resistant to the two most common first-line TB drugs, andcan develop when patients can't (or don't)complete their six-month course of first-line TB treatment. Globally, about 5% of TB patients have the MDR strain.
Find out how normal people cope while living with MDR-TB in Swaziland, Uganda, Australia and India when they share their stories as part of the Medecins San Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) blogging project, TB and ME.