World Tuberculosis Day
Breathlessness and tiredness… this was Linda* every morning as she struggled to get out of bed. Despite the attempts to treat herself with cold remedies, the cold-like symptoms still persisted. Linda started losing weight and the comments about it were overwhelming. It is at this point that she decided to make a trip to the hospital.
Seated inside the waiting room, Linda overheard the nurses and doctor discussing what sounded like TB symptoms. Right there, she grew numb. Her feet suddenly felt heavy. Her heart was racing. “How?” She asked herself. As Linda tried to make sense of the conversation she had eavesdropped, the doctor called her into his office.
As they both sat down, he was holding a big white envelope. The mood was sombre but the doctor tried to break the ice by clearing his throat.
“Linda, inside this envelope are your results. The x-ray has confirmed that you have fluid in your lungs and stomach. Upon further examinations, we will be able to diagnose if this is another case of TB…”
Every March 24th, Tanzania and the rest of the world recognizes this day by creating public awareness that tuberculosis still remains an epidemic in much of the world. According to WHO data published in 2014, Tuberculosis deaths in Tanzania reached 9,379 or 2.80% of total deaths; ranking her #31 in the world with high TB mortality rate.
What are you doing to change this statistic?
As you chew on that question, we would like to shed light on the signs and symptoms of Tuberculosis. Just like Linda’s case, a person with active TB may have any or all of the following symptoms:
A persistent cough
Loss of appetite
Coughing up blood
These symptoms can also occur with other diseases so it is important to see a healthcare provider to ascertain that it is TB. A person with TB may feel perfectly healthy or may only have a cough from time to time. If you think you have been exposed to TB, get a TB test.
If you have been infected with TB, we advise that you take your medication as instructed by your doctor to avoid developing active TB disease.
With that said, let us Unite to End TB by first learning to look out for the symptoms and taking preventive measures to stop the spread of TB.
Feel free to post your comments or questions on the blog below. We shall respond