“ Drug-resistant TB (DRTB) is a very frightening disease to contract. Although new better treatment has just started to be available in the public health system, we are still using the old regimens for our patients. This entails having an antibiotic injection every day together with taking many tablets, for 6 months which is called the treatment initiation phase. The continuation phase lasts for the following 18 months and entails taking many, many tablets each day. Thanks to our DRTB manager, Mme Florina Tlali, and our registered nurse Mme Dibate, and our two home based care givers, we have managed to assist many patients to be cured.
However, we really get very heartbroken when we lose patients. This month we learned that Ntate Lekgotla had died from cerebral meningitis. We had treated him successfully for 24 months and he had been completely cured and was back at work and doing really well. When we popped in to see him recently, his wife told us that he had passed away which was such a shock to us. We suspect that he stopped taking his anti-retro virals as he had started drinking alcohol and was probably forgetful for this reason. He became ill and was admitted to hospital and died within two days. We mourn with his family and feel a real loss as we had got to know him so well. May his dear soul rest in peace.
We are determined to take more care of our patients even after they have been cured of DRTB, as most of them are co-infected with HIV and they have to take anti-retro virals for the rest of their lives. Having taken so many tablets for so long for the DRTB, these patients probably suffer from tablet fatigue and so need our support for a much longer period of time.”