Home

“I face stigma in my family due to my disease”

Leave a comment

IMG_5795.JPG

I was burnt at the age of 13 and after that incident people stopped talking to me due to my burn marks. A lot of people in the area do not speak to me. I rear sheep for a living.

Three months ago, I went to a nearby health center for four days after I started having symptoms of TB but the lab technician was not present so I wasn’t getting tested. Then a friend of mine, who had attended a community meeting organized by an NGO, became aware of my symptoms and referred me to a REACH volunteer. I went for a sputum test following which I was diagnosed with TB.  I have pain in my chest and difficulty in breathing but I am taking my medicines regularly.

IMG_5794.JPG

I face stigma in my house regularly due to my disease. My family constitutes of my father, my step-mother, my two brothers and myself. I am not allowed to sleep in my own house because my step-mother fears that the rest of the family will get infected. I go in the evenings to sleep in a small abandoned hut along with my aunt.

But the good thing is that now I am getting nutritional support and my weight has increased from 38 to 43 kgs. I am hopeful that I will get well soon. Kesavdani, TB Patient


This story is part of our series called Voices of TB Heroesthat features TB survivors and community volunteers whove impacted the lives of those affected by TB.

 According to the Global TB Report for 2016 that was released last month, India continues to bear the worlds highest burden of TB, with 2.8 million people affected by the disease last year. Despite being curable, TB kills over 1000 people every day in India.

 At the heart of Indias battle against TB are those directly affected by the disease. It is their stories that we need to hear, their struggles and battles we need to support and their victories we must celebrate. Please read and share these stories widely.

Advertisements

“I was diagnosed with TB and HIV but I wasn’t scared”

2 Comments

Patient story 1.1.JPG

“I had TB symptoms for the first time four years ago when I started coughing incessantly, lost my appetite and was exhausted all the time. I went to see a government doctor in his private clinic, who initially gave me regular medication. But when there was no improvement in my condition, I was sent for an X-Ray. The doctor referred me to a primary healthcare center after I was diagnosed with TB. I wasn’t scared at all because my doctor assured me that I could be cured. I took medicines regularly for six months and was cured but after three months of getting cured, I had a relapse. At this time I also had a test for HIV and was declared positive. More

“I have TB and Diabetes but I am leading a normal life.”

Leave a comment

Patient story 4.JPGI used to sell fruits before I was diagnosed with TB. I live with my wife and all my children are married and live separately with their families. After getting TB, my health started deteriorating so I couldn’t work as a fruit seller anymore. I was sad about my condition. The private doctor I was visiting referred me to Lakshmi, REACH Field Officer.

Lakshmi was giving me Intensive Phase treatment (medicines for the first two months) till July this year and subsequently found me a neighboring pharmacist, who became my DOTS provider. I was not working at all during the initial months and had no means of income. I haven’t told my relatives and neighbors about my condition because I fear they will isolate me and never talk to me again.

Through all of this, my wife has been my constant support and always accompanies me when I go to take medicines.”

Patient story 4.1.JPGI also have diabetes and I am taking medicines for that as well. I am leading a normal life now and I have taken up the job of a security guard close to my home. Through all of this, my wife has been my constant support and always accompanies me when I go to take medicines. Being able to access my treatment at a pharmacy has really helped, since it is close to my house and I don’t have to go far to take my medicines.” – Chellan, TB Survivor


Mr. Chellan is a fruit seller in Triplicane in Chennai. This story is part of the new series called Voices of TB Heroesthat features TB survivors and community volunteers whove impacted the lives of those affected by TB

According to the Global TB Report for 2016 that was released last month, India continues to bear the worlds highest burden of TB, with 2.8 million people affected by the disease last year. Despite being curable, TB kills over 1000 people every day in India.

At the heart of Indias battle against TB are those directly affected by the disease. It is their stories that we need to hear, their struggles and battles we need to support and their victories we must celebrate. Please read and share these stories widely.

 

“When my husband got Tuberculosis, I had no idea what it was”

Leave a comment

community-engagement-story-2“When my husband got Tuberculosis, I had no idea what it was. My husband was an alcoholic and wasn’t concerned about me and our family. He didn’t take his medicines regularly. During the time of Chennai floods, I got a call from the DMC that my husband wasn’t taking regular treatment. I tried to convince him but eventually gave up. I was working as a house maid at that time. Someone from REACH came to visit us to follow-up on my husband’s treatment. During one of the visits, he told my mother that they were looking for a volunteer to work with REACH. My mother referred me as I have seen the disease up close. More

“TB is nothing to be afraid of…”

Leave a comment

Patient story 6.JPG

“I was a smoker at the time I was diagnosed with TB two years ago. The doctor told me I was even more at risk due to my habit of smoking. I was miserable because I couldn’t even hug or kiss my children when I wanted to.

I wanted to be healthy. In fact, even before I got TB, I was scared of going near my children because I used to smell of cigarettes all the time and it wasn’t healthy for my children. So, after starting treatment I quit smoking. More

“He died at 25 of TB, leaving me alone to face the world..”

2 Comments

Patient story 2.JPG

“My husband was a drug addict and an alcoholic. When he got TB, Suganya from REACH contacted me for getting tested. My children and I were taken for a screening test and X-ray and my younger child was diagnosed with Tuberculosis. Had Suganya not intervened, I wouldn’t have taken the issue seriously as I did not know that TB could have infected my family. My younger child has completed treatment but my older one was diagnosed recently and is on treatment.

My husband had all the bad habits, which made him prone to diseases like TB. When he couldn’t walk due to TB, I used to go to the center to fetch medicines but he would refuse to take them. It has been six months since my husband died. More

A Cured Patient Stopping TB

Leave a comment

Thirumal is a 42 year old patient who has just been cured from Tuberculosis after undergoing DOTS treatment through the REACH Minjuir DOTS centre. Couple of months back Thirumal was in bad shape. He could barely stand on his feet and couldn’t even go about his daily duties without assistance. Cured now and aware of the nature of the disease,Thirumal talks about the disease and its symptoms to people in his vicinity. He assists the REACH staff at the DOTS centre in creating awareness in the community by distributing pamphlets containing TB information and by mobilizing people to attend TB talks.

“I want a community free of TB” says Thirumal.

Sai Dinakar

REACH Blog Team

Older Entries