By Ibe Kenneth and Chibuike Alagboso (Lead Writers)
Zainab (not her real name) first learned about latent tuberculosis (TB) when she was 16 and her doctor informed her that she had it. Despite the doctor’s assurance that it was an inactive form of TB, Zainab failed to complete her prescribed medication regimen. She also nursed her grandfather before he died of TB, putting her at greater risk of infection.
Over time, Zainab began to experience symptoms such as weight loss and night sweats, but she did not pay much attention to them. As her condition worsened, she finally received a diagnosis of TB and began treatment. However, her struggles were far from over as she was diagnosed with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, which meant that not only the first-line drugs but also the second-line drugs were not effective. This necessitated a longer treatment period of 18 to 24 months, along with strict isolation.
Zainab’s experience has left her with the hope that more people will become aware of TB and take their prescriptions seriously. Taking preventative measures, such as following infection control guidelines, can also help to prevent the spread of this disease.