Noel’s Experience

Living with Pemphigus Vulgaris and Dealing with Barriers to Accessible Care and Affordable Treatments

Noel Mudibo’s life is a testament to resilience. In the face of Pemphigus Vulgaris (PV), a debilitating skin condition, and the challenges of accessing adequate healthcare in Kenya, Noel has become a beacon of hope and an advocate for change.

The Onset of PV and Healthcare Challenges

In 2016, Noel’s life took a dramatic turn with the onset of PV. Misdiagnosed and unable to afford specialist care, he endured a year without a diagnosis where he experienced intense pain and social stigma. “People thought I was HIV positive,” Noel shares, highlighting the misconceptions and isolation he faced.

Struggle for Diagnosis and Treatment

The road to proper diagnosis and treatment was arduous. In 2017, Noel was finally diagnosed with PV and began treatment with steroids. However, the severe flare-ups continued to disrupt his life, including his academic pursuits in financial economics. “It wasn’t just the physical pain; the mental toll was excruciating,” Noel reflects on the psychological impact of his condition.

Inspiration and Outreach

Driven by his own experience, Noel turned to the International Pemphigus & Pemphigoid Foundation (IPPF) for information and support. He began connecting with other people with PV across Africa and globally, listening to their challenges with understanding, and drawing motivation from their stories. Noel became a key figure in educating and supporting fellow Kenyans about PV, bridging the gap between patients (many who did not have the online access he did) and healthcare providers.

Advocacy for Change

Noel’s vision extends beyond his personal struggle. He passionately advocates for more affordable and accessible healthcare, laboratory testing, and a reduction in the stigma associated with skin conditions. He emphasizes the need for increased awareness and understanding of PV, especially in African contexts.


Noel’s story is more than a narrative about skin disease. It’s about the courage to face adversity, the power of community support, and the relentless pursuit of a better future for people living with PV. His journey with PV is about bringing light to the shadows of misunderstanding and fear, inspiring hope and action in others.

Join us in amplifying voices like Noel’s. Add your name to our open letter, advocating for global leaders to take skin conditions more seriously. Together, we can elevate the conversation about skin health, ensuring that stories like Noel’s are heard and acted upon. It’s about our skin, but it’s also about lives deserving of understanding, care, and dignity.