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Shaw TV Okanagan Features Calvin White: On His Work, His Book and His Purpose 

letters from the land of fearShaw TV Okanagan recently featured the story of mental health specialist and author Calvin White, who spent 11 months in Central Asia with Doctors without Borders helping multi-drug resistant tuberculosis patients.

White has written about his experiences in Letters from the Land of Fear, published by Guernica Editions in 2015.

He explains the severity of the disease and the difficult treatments that the patients must undergo: “twenty pills and an injection for two years”.

“These drugs unfortunately sound great, they can help [them] to live but natural fact is that they give you terrible side effects and ultimately they may not work. We tend not to tell the patients that, that they may not work, because otherwise they might not go on the treatment.”

Furthermore, White explains that despite the severity of the epidemic which is taking lives by the storm in Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, many people in the West aren’t aware of it.

“There are lots of books written about the more horrific tragedies like in Rwanda, Sierra Leone and ebola even but the quiet killer of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in a place on the other side of the planet— that’s just literally not on the radar. So those people kind of die in anonymity.”

Letters from the Land of Fear is a remarkable journey of intimacy and hope, one that reconfigures our understanding of sadness and, ultimately, reaffirms the common spirit of humanity.

“The experience for that year was so meaningful to me and the people I met and the people I worked with, the people who lived and died with me, deserved a book”

A former high school teacher and counsellor in small town British Columbia, Calvin White translated his experience developing educational and therapeutic approaches for troubled teenagers into leading a team of local counsellors in Uzbekistan, a remote corner of central Asia. As a mental health specialist for Médecins Sans Frontières, he spent a year creating therapeutic practises aimed at saving the lives of hundreds of patients suffering from multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Calvin makes his home in Salmon Arm, BC.


To watch the video featuring Calvin White, visit Youtube:

Letters from the Land of Fear is available on the Guernica Editions website:

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