On January 25, Global Post reporter John Donnelly highlighted the work on PIH's sister project Socios En Salud in "A determined TB nurse, and the impact on a young mother". In it, he follows a nurse as she finds and treats a woman living with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in the shantytowns of northern Lima.
The young mother wanted to die.
She had multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, or MDR-TB. The TB drugs made her sick and depressed in a way she had never experienced. She couldn’t sleep. She had no energy. And she was just a few months into two years of taking this awful medication every day.
Ruth Espinoza, a nurse, had other thoughts. She weighed the situation carefully. She believed that the deep depression felt by the mother, Melissa Vargas, 23, was partially a byproduct of the TB medicine. She made an appointment for Vargas to see a psychiatrist.
The next morning, the nurse appeared at the young mother’s house. She said she was there to take her to a psychiatrist. The mother refused. The nurse demanded it. The mother went.
Today, the mother wants to live.