ACTIVE TUBERCULOSIS OPD SCREENING AND CONTACT INVESTIGATION: THE MUNKA ILA FAMILY STORY
Mr. Munka Ila a 35-year-old family man, who works as a power saw operator in Plateau state tells his story of hope and healing.
” I am married to one wife with 5 children ages 10years, 8years, 5years, 4years, and 9months old baby. I cut trees and wood for sale”.
“Two weeks before I was diagnosed with Tuberculosis (TB), my wife and I started having catarrh and cough. I went to a chemist shop to buy some drugs . We took the drugs for about one week, but the catarrh did not go, so we decided to visit the General Hospital in my local government Shendam. On arrival at the hospital, while waiting to see the doctor in the clinic, some people came to us and asked us questions about coughing”.
Munka and his wife were taken to the clinic where their Sputum was collected for testing. Unfortunately, they tested positive for Tuberculosis.
“When the nurse told me I had TB, I felt very bad because I have heard of it before and how it kills people, the nurse told me to try and bring my wife so they can start treatment and my children as well so they can also test them”.
One-week later Munka was able to take his family (wife and children) for the test.
“They collected sputum and stool of my little children for the test and all of them were positive for TB, the nurse advised me and told me about TB”.
“She told us that TB has a cure and that if we take our treatment well, we will be cured”.
Munka and his family were referred to PHC Yelwa East in Shendam, this clinic was closer to his home since he couldn’t afford transport fare for his entire family to the General Hospital every month. Few days after they were referred, unfortunately, he lost his 9-month-old baby.
“Myself, my wife, and my 4 children were able to start the drugs immediately and we are currently doing well. The cough has stopped but the nurse in PHC Yelwa told us we must complete the drugs for 6 months so that we can be cured”.
He is very grateful and advises people coughing for two weeks or more to go to the designated clinics for proper testing and treatment.
“I want to thank the KNCV staff that interviewed me at the clinic. I would like to let people know that TB is real and there is a cure so people should stop hiding if they are coughing. They should come to the hospital for a test. Those that have TB should be patient and swallow their drugs. They should do everything the Healthcare Worker asks them to do so that they can be cured of TB. Because I have this disease and I know small about it, I am open to telling people about it and even if I see my friend or neighbor coughing, I will tell them to go for a test immediately”.