Modisanyane Didibeng – TB Treatment
“My name is Modisanyane Didibeng, from Serowe. I am an 85 years old Tuberculosis (TB) survivor. I used to work in the mines in South Africa some years ago before I came back home to work for Botswana Railways. Soon after moving back I realized that I wasn’t feeling well. I had excruciating chest pains when coughing, I had no appetite, my skin started peeling, so I went to the hospital to seek medical attention. The doctors did various tests but could not come up with a diagnosis. I was given medicines and sent back home, however after sometime I went to a different hospital for another test which still proved futile as they could not pick anything. Once again I went home without a comprehensive diagnosis but the situation was worsening every day. It got to appoint where I lost hope because medication was not helping at all.
On a third attempt at the Serowe Nutrition Clinic last year June 2017 there was finally some progress when I was screened for TB. The results of my sputum test showed that I was positive for TB. As scary as it is to discover that I had TB, I was relieved because now the doctors managed to diagnose the problem. A ray of hope came that I can now start receiving relevant prescription medication and that the burden I suffered for a long time was finally going to end!, excitedly narrated Mr. Didibeng.
After being diagnosed Didibeng was immediately introduced to treatment. In the first 2 weeks he had to take a pill on daily basis at the hospital. It is critical for the patient to initially take a pill at the hospital so that doctors can monitor the patient closely for side effects caused by the drugs.
After establishing that Didibeng was doing well on treatment he was then assigned Ms. Mogomotsi Kabelo who volunteers as a Community TB/HIV Treatment Supporter under BOCAIP at Serowe Nutrition Clinic who was always responsible for seeing Didibeng throughout his treatment phase. She shares that:
Immediately after I screened Didibeng and he was introduced to treatment I made sure that I educated him on TB and how he can take care of himself to prevent infecting his family members. I then went to his family to do contact tracing to screen them to find out if they have not been infected since TB is airborne. Fortunately they were all negative following the tests. Though they were negative, there was a five year old child who was given treatment to prevent her from contracting the disease and to avoid complications as her immune system is still weak making her an easy target. I also gave his family information on TB and how to support their father throughout his treatment. I shared with them the precautionary measures to exercise to ensure that they do not contract TB. Also we had a vegetable garden at BOCAIP-Serowe Centre and I requested the supervisors to give my client some vegetables and they agreed with me fulfilling our Botswana pillars which say we have to be a Compassionate, just and caring nation.” added the content Community TB/HIV treatment Supporter Miss Kabelo.
Didibeng exclaims “It has been two months since I completed my treatment and I am really thrilled to have overcome this anguish that tormented me for a long time. I feel alive again and I have regained my strength, I can eat since my appetite has been restored. My family is now happy to see me well and are no longer worried like before. I really appreciate the service I have received through this TB Care Support initiative implemented by BOCAIP. I encourage others who are reluctant to seek help to do that because they too can beat TB because as deadly as it is, it is curable” shared ecstatic Didibeng.
After he completed his TB treatment and was fully recovered, Didibeng decided to become a TB/HIV support group member. “I decided to be part of the team in order to sensitize and educate my community on TB. I wanted to encourage TB patients to be faithful to their medication and ensure that they complete their treatment” He said.