Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Journal Quilt April
Here is my journal quilt for April 2009. The suggested theme was Human Figure. I first thought of doing a self portrait or a portrait of one of my boys, but after my trip to the Torres Strait Islands, where I observed the tuberculosis outreach clinics, I decided to use an X-ray of a TB patient.
(In case you are not familiar with a chest X-ray: the white part in the middle is the heart. The lungs should be black (because they are filled with air) and all the white bits that I have quilted are parts of the lungs that are affected by tuberculosis. This is actually an X-ray showing extensive disease in both lungs)
Tuberculosis is a very old disease (evidence of TB has been found in Egyptian mummies) that is still a major cause of morbidity and mortality in large parts of the world. When it is caused by non-drug resistant bacteria it is easy to treat, although treatment must be continued for at least 6 months. Multi-drug resistant TB (MDR-TB) is a growing problem in many countries that needs to be addressed urgently. In the Torres Strait patients from Papua New Guinea, many of them with MDR-TB, are treated by an outreach team from Cairns. For a posting about my trip, go here (in Dutch, but with lots of photos) or watch this ABC news report (July 2008).