A COUPLES BEACON OF HOPE
Mallam Auwal Yau, a 45-year-old peasant farmer and his 25-year-old wife, Madam Maimuna Yau, who have two children and live in Tudun Wada Village in Itas Gadau LGA of Bauchi, were screened by the KNCV GLOVAX Vaccination team on his farm on October 12th, 2022.
Mallam Auwal tested positive for Tuberculosis and was placed on treatment. The team followed up with a visit to their home to screen Madam Maimuna for TB and check up on Mallam Auwal. Her sputum sample was collected and taken to the lab for evaluation using GenXpert; she tested positive and was placed on treatment on November 10th, 2022.
The children were also screened for TB and put on TB preventive Therapy (TPT). Mallam Auwal reported that he had been suffering from the disease for three months with coughing difficulties, chest pain, and breathing challenges.
He had spent about N25,600 on traditional medicine and cough drugs that had not been effective until the Glovax team intervened in October 2022. Madam Maimuna had been treating her symptoms as a normal cough for two months before she was screened and diagnosed with TB. The couple expressed their gratitude to USAID-KNCV Team for their support; they said that both of their health’s have improved significantly since they started treatment.
MARTINA’S ROAD TO RECOVERY
Mongal Martina, a 28-year-old from Ukpe in Cross River, had suffered from chronic cough and weakness for about 5-6 months. Her family had lost hope in her recovery and had concluded that she would die. She was taken to General Hospital Ogoja just so that if she died, it would be in the hospital.
On the 1st of April 2022, Martina was screened by the hospital and was found to have underlying conditions in addition to Tuberculosis (TB). She was immediately placed on treatment on the 13th of April 2022. During this period, she couldn’t stand or sit unaided, had lost her appetite, and looked chronically ill. Her case was so severe that when her picture was posted on social media, many people wondered what had happened to the woman lying down. But after receiving ad-hoc services from KNCV and TB medication, her condition improved significantly, says Maria Mokpe KNCV Adhoc staff General Hospital Ogoja.
Martina is thankful to USAID for providing access to TB services and medication through KNCV Nigeria, and for dispelling local misconceptions about TB as a spiritual attack or witchcraft. Her road to recovery has brought hope that we can end TB in our locality.
A STORY OF TRIUMPH
Muhammed Sani is a 30 years old motorbike repairer and small-scale farmer married with 5 Children residing in Kanawa village of Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi state.
Before the USAID-KNCV came to his village to vaccinate for COVID-19 and conduct TB screening on Tuesday 16th August 2022, Muhammed had been coughing continuously since around June 2022. His sputum was collected for TB screening and after 5days the team reached out to inform him that he tested positive for TB.
Prior to the test, he had spent over N 5000 Naira on traditional medicines from different traditional medicine hawkers without any permanent results but it only suppressed it for 2-to-3 days.
In Muhammed’s words; “I am glad the team placed me on free treatment and scheduled clinic appearances every 10 days while my wife and children were given TB Prevention Therapeutic drugs for 3 months. My health-wellbeing has improved and am breathing well without coughing anymore, I pray this good job continues forever so that other patients who are asymptomatic like me living with the bacteria will benefit from this generosity of USAID-KNCV”
In addition, since the commencement of treatment and the noticeable change in my health, I am now an advocate of TB screening, encouraging anyone in my vicinity with a cough to visit the DOT clinic for free screening antreatment.
GLOVAX TB-INTEGRATED SUCCESS STORY
Samarau is a 27-year married woman who is a resident of Wandi village, Dass LGA. She has three children and runs a small food business in the central market. Below is a narration of her experience with the USAID- Funded COVID-19 Vaccination Acceleration (GLOVAX) project, implemented by KNCV Nigeria.
I was unaware that I was living with a TB infection because nobody in my family has ever suffered from such an infection. In my mind, it was a normal cough, usual fever, and night sweats which I treated with a “traditional concoction” without improvement. I came across the GLOVAX vaccination Team in the market-on-market day when they were giving the COVID-19 Vaccine and screening people for TB.
A member of the team noticed I coughed and enquired how long the cough had lasted. I told him I had been coughing for several months. My sputum sample was taken in July ending 2022 for diagnosis, I tested positive for TB and was placed on treatment immediately from the first week of August.
I had intensive TB treatment in the first two months (August – September 2022), and this helped me regain my health as the chest pain and breathing challenges disappeared. I moved to the 2nd phase of my treatment in October 2022, my health has remained stable, my weight improved from 52kg in Aug to 61kg in the 1st week of October, and I’m presently weighing 72kg in my 5th month of therapy.
I appreciate the health workers in the clinic and the GLOVAX vaccination team for their encouragement, and low-up on me and my family. My husband and children were provided with two months of preventive therapy.
We remain grateful to USAID and KNCV for their support to my family and community.
NEW LEASE OF LIFE
ADAMA DAUDA, a 28-year-old housewife with 3 children, who lives in Ungwan Rugan in Ganjuwa Local Government Area of Bauchi tells her story of hope after her encounter with the USAID-KNCV vaccination team in her village.
The USAID-KNCV vaccination team visited my village on the 21st of August to vaccinate us. They also screened for Tuberculosis alongside Covid-19 vaccination. My sputum sample was collected after complaints of coughing for over a month which the local concoctions I consumed couldn’t suppress.
Exactly a week after, I was invited to collect my test result which happened to be positive. The team advised me to give in to treatment and assured me of a 6-month free treatment. However, I told them I would inform my husband and seek approval. The DOT officer contacted my husband to inquire if he and the children are having a cough, my husband told him he has a normal cough which usually happens to him because of the weather.
I was placed on treatment On Friday 2nd of September while my husband was placed on Tuberculosis preventive drugs. Today, I feel healthy and better than before, my cough has stopped, and I do not suffer chest pain anymore. I am happy to meet the health workers, they were very friendly and accommodating. God Almighty will bless them and the organization that paid for my drugs.
Northern Wellness on Wheels (WoW Truck) Active Case Finding Activities in Bauchi State
With support from partners, the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Programme (NTBLCP) coordinated the National Childhood Tuberculosis (TB) Testing Week, aimed at identifying and diagnosing childhood TB cases. The case of Rukayya Isah, a 14-year-old student from the community of Sambuwal in the Shira LGA of Bauchi State showcases the positive outcome of the activity.
During the WOW community, ACF (Active Case Finding) intervention at Sambuwal village, Rukayya’s mother expressed her worry about her daughter’s recurrent cough, which is the only symptom she experienced. Rukayya was tested for TB, the diagnosis confirmed Rukayya to be positive for Tuberculosis and was immediately placed on treatment. The KNCV Bauchi team-initiated contact tracing efforts to screen Rukayya’s close relatives. Eleven (11) family members, including her mother, two sisters, and two brothers, were screened for TB. Thankfully, no additional cases of TB were found among those screened, the family was placed on TB Preventive Therapy (TPT).
This success story highlights the significant impact of National Childhood TB Testing Week and the importance of community-based interventions and the collaboration between government agencies, healthcare providers, and partner organizations. The program has increased childhood TB case detection and contributed to a notable increase in the treatment success rate.
Rahima's Triumphant Recovery from Tuberculosis
The WoW team started the Active case finding in Bauchi in November 2022 after the official flag-off by the state Governor, the team hit the ground running immediately. On the 7th of December 2022, the team visited a community called Kimni. Kimni is about 15 to 20 kilometers outside Bauchi town. The people in this community were mainly Fulani, and although they had a small population, there were TB cases there. The LGA TBLS invited us to help find the missing cases.
On the day of the outreach, a little girl of about 8 years approached the truck for the screening exercise, this was after her father had been diagnosed with TB and the DOT officer commenced contact tracing on members of his family. However, no member of the family was identified as presumptive except Rahima Abubakar who didn’t show any signs of illness at the time of screening, The screening was done using a digital X-ray with CAD, and after the X-ray examination, she was asked to produce sputum which was sent to the lab for further evaluation using a machine. The machine confirmed she had Tuberculosis and was enrolled for treatment on the 8th of December 2023 in Turwin PHC, the closest facility to the community where she lives.
After a few months of treatment, the WoW team who were monitoring the girl’s progress checked in with the officer in charge of her treatment, and he said she was recovering faster than expected. Detecting her Tuberculosis early played a big role in her quick recovery. Thankfully, Rahima Abubakar successfully completed her treatment and is now free from TB, all thanks to the efforts of USAID, KNCV NIGERIA, and the hardworking WoW ACF team. They all worked tirelessly to find missing TB cases in difficult-to-reach areas like this community.
USMAN ISAH-TIJANI: THE STORY SO FAR
Usman Isah-Tijani, the nine-year-old boy from Gwale LGA in Kano state who was clinically diagnosed with TB in 2020 during a WoW truck community screening outreach in their hometown Gwale LGA in Kano is doing so well after his treatment.
“He was always coughing with blood coming out from his nose and sometimes in the saliva, he was not growing like other children. We spent a lot of resources going from public to private hospitals but my son was not getting better” says his father
He completed his 6-month TB treatment regimen in 2021 and is now living a healthy life as a pre-teen.
Usman is energetic, gaining weight and he does his homework after school. He loves to play football with the other kids in the neighborhood, he is a big fan of Cristiano Ronaldo.
His dad is so happy at how well he is doing.
“I am delighted and I thank KNCV, it was only by the Grace of God through your intervention that my child is alive today,” says Usman’s father
MAGAJI'S JOURNEY TO DRUG ADHERENCE
Malam Abba Magaji, is a middle-aged man who has a wife and five kids. In 2012, he fell ill and was diagnosed with TB disease at the Infectious diseases hospital kano and was immediately placed on treatment at Waziri Shehu Gidado General hospital using the then 8-months treatment regimen.
Malam Abba admits that early on during the course of treatment, especially when his symptoms began resolving, he started to skip treatment days some due to forgetfulness and others due to the financial burden of transport costs for routine biweekly clinic visits for drug pickups. He managed to somehow complete his treatment but sadly, was again recently diagnosed with TB.
Malam Abba belongs to a group of patients classified as retreatment cases, this group because of their previous treatment history need to be closely monitored for adherence to forestall the likelihood of negative treatment outcome. Luckily, he accessed care at one of the KNCV supported DAT centers (Sir Muhammad Sanusi Specialist hospital) where he was enrolled on DAT after counseling and obtaining consent.
The 19th of January 2022 makes it exactly 2 months since Malam Abba commenced his current treatment, while it’s still early in the 6-month journey to cure, they say hindsight offers a clearer vision and Malam Abba has testified to his improved drug adherence habit as compared to his last treatment experience. On his mobile phone, he proudly displays evidence of his 3 digit code free SMS messages to 3340 and replies that he gets, he says that this has truly been helpful as a ritual reminder to take his drugs and also motivating to know that he is remotely being always monitored or cared for.
Magaji thanks Almighty GOD for being alive and getting better, he extends his special thanks to KNCV Tuberculosis foundation Nigeria for providing this innovative technology to help ensure patients do not fall victim to poor TB drug adherence habits especially in Kano and the country at large.
Digital Adherence Technology (DAT) is technology-enabled care that provides additional support towards ensuring patients complete their treatment. It augments the traditional directly observed therapy (DOT) By providing tools that allow for patients to take their medication at a place and time that is convenient to them while remaining connected to their health care worker via the use of the Everwell app to track either Medication labels or Video observed therapy (VOT).
In Kano State, 17 Facilities were engaged, trained, and supported to offer DAT services. This commenced on 13th October 2021 and so far, 525 patients have been enrolled.
FROM PAINS TO SMILES: BLESSING JOSHUA”S STORY OF TRUIMPH
Blessing Joshua Robson is Nineteen (19) years old, 300 level student of Physiology at the University of Calabar, who has successfully gone through the treatment cascade for EPTB with a ‘cured’ outcome. Towards the end of 2019, between July and August, blessing began to notice pains in her lower back region. The pain which wasn’t consistent, usually lasted for a few days, after which it disappeared for about two weeks.
By October 2020, in a bid to seek medical attention, she visited our facility at University of Calabar Teaching Hospital where she was thoroughly screened for TB and sent for an x-ray examination, by this time, there existed a protrusion on her spine. The x-ray investigation was suggestive of Potts disease of the spine. (TB of the spine)
She was immediately placed on a treatment regimen, which she tirelessly and judiciously adhered to.
As at treatment commencement, she weighed 56kg. Now, she weighs 67kg and looks glaringly healthier than the way she looked before treatment says the Adhoc staff that attended to her the first day. These are her words,
“Thank you so much KNCV Nigeria, for making TB screening, diagnosis, and treatment available and accessible to us at no cost at all”.
“As at treatment commencement, she weighed 56kg. Now, she weighs 67kg and looks glaringly healthier than the way she looked before treatment” says Abba Kanu, the Adhoc staff that attended to her the first day.
THE DRUG THAT BROUGHT ME BACK TO LIFE: ADIM AUGUSTINE SUCCESS STORY
Mr. Adim Augustine was rolled into the General Hospital Calabar G.O.P.D on a wheelchair on the 6th of April 2021 as an emergency case. He was unable to walk or lift his lower limbs.
According to his wife, Mrs. Rita Augustine, she said the husband was bedridden for some weeks now and could not fend for the family because of his inability to walk on his own and every treatment they had given him locally proved abortive, hence their decision to seek medical treatment.
When our Cough Screening Officer at the G.O.P.D, Fortune Ebuara, screened him for T.B, the patient said he was not coughing but he admitted to having fever for more than two weeks, loss of weight, loss of appetite, and backache (at the spine region).
The afore mentioned description of the symptoms by the patient gave our C.S.O the idea that the patient could be suffering from Extra Pulmonary TB of the spine. He, therefore, fast-track him to see the clinician for further examination and clinical diagnosis having seen the symptoms.
The patient was admitted and after much laboratory investigation and several scans and Xray were conducted, he was afterward diagnosed clinically by the clinician with the TB of the spine.
The clinician immediately called the attention of the C.S.O and recommended the patient to be taken (wheeled) to the DOTS unit to commence TB treatment. The patient was placed on treatment the same day being the 9th April 2021. His treatment was to last for twelve months (1 year).
After being on the drug for about two to three months, he was able to start walking on his own while other symptoms disappeared. We were amazed to see him coming on his own (walking on both feet) to get his drugs on the 15th of September 2021. He was full of life and excitement, thanking us for placing him on the TB drug which according to his words:
“The drug that brought me back to life.”