Fieldset
My support group

Suffering from MDR-TB made me fearful and withdrawn and as a result I stopped interacting with people, because I thought everyone around me knew I had a dreadful disease.

Suffering from MDR-TB made me fearful and withdrawn and as a result I stopped interacting with people, because I thought everyone around me knew I had a dreadful disease. The education I receive from attending the support group makes me realise that I had a wrong perception and I give credit to the formation of these groups because one gets emotionally encouraged. At the meetings, we are educated about TB and people share about their experiences which I am also able to relate to, which has helped me become optimistic. I come home with TB leaflets which I share with the family that way they get to know more about TB. I can tell you the education material has worked because before my sister-in-law did not want to associate with me and my brother (Mfan’fikile). She would say we will infect her with TB. My sister-in-law can now even sit next to me and ask questions about TB.

Although the treatment is stressful, it has improved my health condition and I feel much stronger and I am now able to perform household chores. It is amazing how I could not even perform the simplest of duties, such as opening windows, tidy up, fetch water from the river and gather firewood, but I can now do all this without asking for assistance.

I am glad I have access to MDR-TB medication and ARVs.

My advice to other people who can identify with a similar condition as mine is that there is life once you start on treatment. Following all the advice I get from the health staff about treatment has helped to improve my condition and I am a living testimony and I have a new lease to life.