Amina's Story

IDevice Icon Case study Amina’s Story

In June 2009 I started getting flu like symptoms. I consulted my local doctor and was given medication and started feeling better.

One day I got this sudden fever and was rushed to a doctor and was given an injection. The doctor realized that I had a tight chest and was coughing all the time while she was examining me. She asked me for how long I have been feeling sick. I replied for a few weeks.

The doctor told me go for a chest x-ray the next day and had the clinic call her as soon as I had the x-ray results. In the meantime she gave me a very high dose of antibiotics and cough syrup to suppress the cough.

I followed the instructions. While waiting for my results the nurse called me to say that the doctor wanted to talk to me. Then I started feeling afraid. She told me that things did not look good on the x-ray. She told me to go to my local clinic and have a Tuberculosis (TB) test done.

I was feeling so sad and started crying. But I went for the test. The clinic was so overcrowded that they took a long time to help me. Finally my turn came.

I first had to do all the paper work and fill in forms. Then I was given a jar and had to cough sputum in it. Afterwards I was asked if I would go for an HIV test. The reason for this was because when you are HIV positive TB is one of the illnesses you may contract. My HIV test was negative. Now I had to wait for a few days for the TB results to get back.

I was given TB treatment immediately just in case I was infected with TB and received a treatment card. After a few days I was told that my results came back positive for TB. This means that I had TB. So I continued with the treatment.

The nurse took my weight and I was given three huge tablets because you get treatment according to your weight.

The treatment caused me to be nauseous and want to vomit every time I coughed. But I started getting better. Now I had to be at the clinic every morning or afternoon to take my medication and for the nurse to sign.

 
People looked at me at the clinic because many of them came from the same area. I felt so ashamed sitting there... even though I knew that I did not ask to have TB.

It started becoming difficult because I had class to attend but I knew that I could not skip one day of treatment. I had to rush from school to the clinic before it closed. If you are not able to make it to the clinic then you can be referred to a DOTS supporter that lives in the area and there you can receive your medication.

After a few months they did a test again and it came back negative. So, I could see that the medication worked, but it did not end there.

Now I was changed to a smaller tablet which was the next stage of the treatment and had to finish the six months of treatment. On the 14 December 2009 I was cured of TB and my treatment was done.

All that was left now was to live a healthy life. My message to you is to be careful, eat healthy and exercise. TB is everywhere. Look out for the night sweats, fever, tight chest and loss of weight. Open the windows and prevent the spread of TUBERCULOSIS.