The impact of COVID epidemic: a TB patient’s perspective
“It hasn’t been easy for me and my family, we stay indoors except for days I have to go to the hospital for my TB drugs and that of two of my children”.
Awua Victor is a Farmer and Electrician in Benue State; his job requires energy and physical strength. It all started in January 2020 when he had a cough, he thought it was one of those allergies that over the counter drugs could fix. He took the medications meticulously but the cough did not stop, he even became sicker with severe chest pain, fever, and fatigue.
His strength was failing; he found it difficult to carry out his farming job. He had to turn down electrical jobs; his wife’s petty trading business was what was sustaining him and their 6 children.
In February 2020 Victor’s fate changed when screening officers from KNCV visited his village to actively screen and treat TB cases.
He was tested and confirmed to have TB. His family was tested and unfortunately, his 2 children tested positive as well. He was then referred to St. Vincent Hospital Aliade, Benue State for further evaluation and treatment.
Victor and his children immediately commenced their 6-month long treatment, they started feeling better but Victor’s recovery was short-lived, he noticed he was itching all over his body, he tried to manage it for some days but it became debilitating so he had to return to the hospital for further evaluation. He was told it was an adverse TB drug reaction which some people experience. The doctor gave him medications to help with the itching. Victor says,
“I take my TB drugs plus the tiny pills that helps with the itching religiously every day by 5am”
When asked how he is coping amidst the COVID-19 pandemic,
“It hasn’t been easy for me and my family, we stay indoors except for days I have to go to the hospital for my TB drugs and that of my two children.” Victor says.
Victor in his farm in Benue
For him, going to the hospital hasn’t been easy due to the lockdowns and limited movement.
“I hope things will become better, so I can go back to work soon” he says.
Victor and his children are still receiving treatment at the St. Vincent hospital, Aliade Benue State.