Meet a TB patient -title)
Meet a TB patient -title)

Meet Hạnh

“I’m an athlete on the national Vietnamese Karate team and I participated in the Southeast Asian Games in 2003, 2005, 2007. As an athlete, I’m rarely ever ill and have always had good health. But that does not mean I’m invincible. A while ago I began to cough, a cough that went on for quite some time. I lost weight, felt exhausted, I had chest pain and late afternoon fevers. I went for a health check, did a few tests and was diagnosed with TB. All of a sudden the symptoms became very real. I have TB.

I’ve been on TB treatment for four months now. It’s been quite a change for me. I teach physical education and participate in many activities. In the early months, my body was weak. I wanted to continue going about my daily routine but I felt exhausted. I felt like I couldn’t do anything. It was during this time that I came to appreciate health and how important it is to our wellbeing. When I first began treatment, community healthcare workers from the Zero TB Viet Nam project visited, counseled me on TB, and encouraged me to get my family tested. I knew the risks of infection – getting them tested is the best way to prevent the spread of disease. I encouraged my family, my parents, siblings, my children and my friends to get tested. They all received a free chest X-ray and sputum test [Xpert MTB/RIF]. Fortunately, nobody else has been infected with TB so far.

Personally I think fighting TB requires dedication. My family, friends and colleagues ask me how I’m doing and are very supportive. They give me a shoulder to lean on, provide words of encouragement and remind me to rest and take medicines regularly. All this has helped a lot. I hope everybody understands more about TB and knows that emotional support brings a lot of comfort to the patient.

The [ZTV] project does a lot of good for the local community – the project and the community healthcare workers help us understand TB disease, help us receive and stay on treatment. I think that’s very beneficial.

I hope to successfully fight TB and regain full health. I hope people know how protect themselves against contracting TB. Early detection is key – if there are first signs of symptoms, do get a CXR, get a sputum test. Don’t wait until it’s too late!”

Meet Hạnh

“I’m an athlete on the national Vietnamese Karate team and I participated in the Southeast Asian Games in 2003, 2005, 2007. As an athlete, I’m rarely ever ill and have always had good health. But that does not mean I’m invincible. A while ago I began to cough, a cough that went on for quite some time. I lost weight, felt exhausted, I had chest pain and late afternoon fevers. I went for a health check, did a few tests and was diagnosed with TB. All of a sudden the symptoms became very real. I have TB.

I’ve been on TB treatment for four months now. It’s been quite a change for me. I teach physical education and participate in many activities. In the early months, my body was weak. I wanted to continue going about my daily routine but I felt exhausted. I felt like I couldn’t do anything. It was during this time that I came to appreciate health and how important it is to our wellbeing. When I first began treatment, community healthcare workers from the Zero TB Viet Nam project visited, counseled me on TB, and encouraged me to get my family tested. I knew the risks of infection – getting them tested is the best way to prevent the spread of disease. I encouraged my family, my parents, siblings, my children and my friends to get tested. They all received a free chest X-ray and sputum test [Xpert MTB/RIF]. Fortunately, nobody else has been infected with TB so far.

Personally I think fighting TB requires dedication. My family, friends and colleagues ask me how I’m doing and are very supportive. They give me a shoulder to lean on, provide words of encouragement and remind me to rest and take medicines regularly. All this has helped a lot. I hope everybody understands more about TB and knows that emotional support brings a lot of comfort to the patient.

The [ZTV] project does a lot of good for the local community – the project and the community healthcare workers help us understand TB disease, help us receive and stay on treatment. I think that’s very beneficial.

I hope to successfully fight TB and regain full health. I hope people know how protect themselves against contracting TB. Early detection is key – if there are first signs of symptoms, do get a CXR, get a sputum test. Don’t wait until it’s too late!”

Fight tuberculosis at old age

“I have been coughing up sputum for 2 years, but I hesitate to visit a doctor because I don’t want to become a family burden. Until I lost my weight rapid in recent months (i.e., 40 kilograms down to 26 kilograms) and felt breathlessness, my son took me to the local hospital. Doctors here transferred me to District Tuberculosis Unit (DTU) based upon their possible suspects of tuberculosis. The health officer at DTU asked me to perform a plain chest X-ray and two sputum samples for confirmatory. I started receiving my treatment for tuberculosis a week ago. I don’t feel comfortable to take these drugs: vomiting and loss of my vision and speech.

I am living with 5 offspring in a rented house. I don’t have my own room, so I often wear the mask to prevent my family from disease transmission. Since the day I was diagnosed with tuberculosis, a counselor from PROPER CARE program usually visits my house to advise me not to get rid of my therapy, and encourage my family members to go screening for tuberculosis.

My current health doesn’t allow me to go out, so nobody know my condition. However, my family members don’t want to mention my disease to anyone because they scare a potential rise of discrimination in our neighbors.

With my age, 82 years old, I just wish to recover as soon as possible. This disease makes me lie on the bed all day and uncomfortable.”

Fight tuberculosis at old age

“I have been coughing up sputum for 2 years, but I hesitate to visit a doctor because I don’t want to become a family burden. Until I lost my weight rapid in recent months (i.e., 40 kilograms down to 26 kilograms) and felt breathlessness, my son took me to the local hospital. Doctors here transferred me to District Tuberculosis Unit (DTU) based upon their possible suspects of tuberculosis. The health officer at DTU asked me to perform a plain chest X-ray and two sputum samples for confirmatory. I started receiving my treatment for tuberculosis a week ago. I don’t feel comfortable to take these drugs: vomiting and loss of my vision and speech.

I am living with 5 offspring in a rented house. I don’t have my own room, so I often wear the mask to prevent my family from disease transmission. Since the day I was diagnosed with tuberculosis, a counselor from PROPER CARE program usually visits my house to advise me not to get rid of my therapy, and encourage my family members to go screening for tuberculosis.

My current health doesn’t allow me to go out, so nobody know my condition. However, my family members don’t want to mention my disease to anyone because they scare a potential rise of discrimination in our neighbors.

With my age, 82 years old, I just wish to recover as soon as possible. This disease makes me lie on the bed all day and uncomfortable.”

Believe, good things are on the way

“I thought that I lost everything on the day when I was diagnosed with Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis at the beginning of this year. As a man of the house, I used to be responsible for looking after my family. Because my health is not good enough, I had to quit my job. Also, I wanted to withdraw the therapy when my condition became worse at the first months of treatment: loss of my appetite, vomiting, drowsy, and loss of vision. My wife had to stop working to take care of me as well. I felt useless and miserable since being acquired to this disease. Our trembling marriage was about to end because of the financial burden and my bad mood during.

Fortunately, we have Ms. Hue, the counselor from PROPER CARE. She is always by our sides from the first day of my treatment. She inspires me of future life with tuberculosis-free if I do my best to continue my long regiment. Our marriage is also healed thanks to her counselling. After 8-month following treatment, my condition is getting better when side effects of drugs are ameliorated. Now I gained weight about 20 kilograms compared to the time I started my therapy. This also gives my family a hope, but also persuades the surrounding people with the stigma of tuberculosis to change their minds – tuberculosis is a treatable and curable disease.

As any patient with MDR-TB, I just only desire a full recovery after finishing my treatment. With my experiences and sympathy obtained during my treatment for tuberculosis, I hope to contribute my endeavors to help other patients like me. I believe that where there’s a will there’s a way.”

Believe, good things are on the way

“I thought that I lost everything on the day when I was diagnosed with Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis at the beginning of this year. As a man of the house, I used to be responsible for looking after my family. Because my health is not good enough, I had to quit my job. Also, I wanted to withdraw the therapy when my condition became worse at the first months of treatment: loss of my appetite, vomiting, drowsy, and loss of vision. My wife had to stop working to take care of me as well. I felt useless and miserable since being acquired to this disease. Our trembling marriage was about to end because of the financial burden and my bad mood during.

Fortunately, we have Ms. Hue, the counselor from PROPER CARE. She is always by our sides from the first day of my treatment. She inspires me of future life with tuberculosis-free if I do my best to continue my long regiment. Our marriage is also healed thanks to her counselling. After 8-month following treatment, my condition is getting better when side effects of drugs are ameliorated. Now I gained weight about 20 kilograms compared to the time I started my therapy. This also gives my family a hope, but also persuades the surrounding people with the stigma of tuberculosis to change their minds – tuberculosis is a treatable and curable disease.

As any patient with MDR-TB, I just only desire a full recovery after finishing my treatment. With my experiences and sympathy obtained during my treatment for tuberculosis, I hope to contribute my endeavors to help other patients like me. I believe that where there’s a will there’s a way.”

Fight tuberculosis at old age

“I started to feel tired all the time, I had afternoon fevers. And then there was coughing, constant coughing, the medicines didn’t help at all. It went on for 2 months before I went to the hospital for diagnosis. They took a chest X-ray and said it showed lung abnormalities. They concluded that I had TB. So I began to take TB medicines. It was easy and I didn’t think much about how taking the medicines would be difficult. All I thought of was that taking the medicines would help me get well again and I was determined to take them as instructed. This would help not only me, but also the community.
But during moments of complete exhaustion, I did feel the heavy toll of the disease on me. My own children took care of me and told me to simply concentrate on my treatment, to focus on eating regular meals and not to worry about anything else. Yet I worried. I worried that if I didn’t complete my treatment, TB will continue to spread to others in the community, to my family and my two grandchildren. I thought of my grandchildren first – they were my motivation to compete treatment.
I also worried for people outside my family. Before I completed treatment in February, I was invited to a dinner party, but I declined the invitation. It was me who felt like I should refrain from regular contact because I didn’t want people to be at risk of infection, not my friends.
There are things that I do appreciate from the ZTV project, such as the fact that Ms. Luong paid me frequent visits to ask me about my health and to provide me with advice and encouragement. I really appreciated that. I felt personally cared for. That’s a great benefit of the ZTV project.
Now that I am cured of TB, I want to say thanks to everyone who helped me through the treatment process. I want to thank my family, the community, and the project for providing me with so much support. I hope the project will continue support many more patients with TB like myself. The more TB patients we support, the sooner we can stop TB in the community. I recently went in for a health check – everything was fine. It’s all fine now!”

Fight tuberculosis at old age

“I started to feel tired all the time, I had afternoon fevers. And then there was coughing, constant coughing, the medicines didn’t help at all. It went on for 2 months before I went to the hospital for diagnosis. They took a chest X-ray and said it showed lung abnormalities. They concluded that I had TB. So I began to take TB medicines. It was easy and I didn’t think much about how taking the medicines would be difficult. All I thought of was that taking the medicines would help me get well again and I was determined to take them as instructed. This would help not only me, but also the community.
But during moments of complete exhaustion, I did feel the heavy toll of the disease on me. My own children took care of me and told me to simply concentrate on my treatment, to focus on eating regular meals and not to worry about anything else. Yet I worried. I worried that if I didn’t complete my treatment, TB will continue to spread to others in the community, to my family and my two grandchildren. I thought of my grandchildren first – they were my motivation to compete treatment.
I also worried for people outside my family. Before I completed treatment in February, I was invited to a dinner party, but I declined the invitation. It was me who felt like I should refrain from regular contact because I didn’t want people to be at risk of infection, not my friends.
There are things that I do appreciate from the ZTV project, such as the fact that Ms. Luong paid me frequent visits to ask me about my health and to provide me with advice and encouragement. I really appreciated that. I felt personally cared for. That’s a great benefit of the ZTV project.
Now that I am cured of TB, I want to say thanks to everyone who helped me through the treatment process. I want to thank my family, the community, and the project for providing me with so much support. I hope the project will continue support many more patients with TB like myself. The more TB patients we support, the sooner we can stop TB in the community. I recently went in for a health check – everything was fine. It’s all fine now!”

Desire a full recovery more than anything

“This is the second time I have been treated for tuberculosis. Compared to the previous one, the symptoms this time are not obvious: cough and back pain. I visited many doctors in the local clinics, but their therapy didn’t help ameliorate my pain. I found a tumor located in the back a few weeks later and it became bigger and bigger day by day. I didn’t think that I would had a relapse of tuberculosis until I went to visit doctor at Pham Ngoc Thach Lung Hospital. My current condition accompanied a relapse pulmonary tuberculosis with the spinal tuberculosis. Now I am receiving treatment for Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR). I suffer from the side effects of drugs: nausea, skin lesions, and hearing loss at the time I take medicine. That is why medicine has become an obsession for me. I also feel breathless and fatigue by a little physical exertion. I quit my job as a security guard since I had a relapse TB because I don’t feel well enough to do anything. I am just sitting around my room due in part to my physical weakness, another reason from discrimination from surrounding people. Only persons without knowing my condition talk to me while some others, even my family members, are afraid of touching and talking to me. They are afraid of disease transmission. This is the reason I isolate myself and don’t want to talk anyone.

The worst thing is that my wife is also receiving treatment for MDR-TB as well. Her condition is worse than mine. We are living on the deepest sympathy from our family members, catholic charities and PROPER CARE program. Not only financial support, they help build spiritual strength to overcome these difficulties we are facing. I have 2 children: my little son is looked after by my parents, and my daughter who is staying with us goes to school without any strings attached. I am grateful for their consideration.

I hope my wife and me to get a full recovery after our therapy, which is my desire more than anything. I plan to look for the job after my successfully treatment to support my family in the future. Also, I wish I have the amount of money for a surgery to remove the tumor in my back.”

Desire a full recovery more than anything

“This is the second time I have been treated for tuberculosis. Compared to the previous one, the symptoms this time are not obvious: cough and back pain. I visited many doctors in the local clinics, but their therapy didn’t help ameliorate my pain. I found a tumor located in the back a few weeks later and it became bigger and bigger day by day. I didn’t think that I would had a relapse of tuberculosis until I went to visit doctor at Pham Ngoc Thach Lung Hospital. My current condition accompanied a relapse pulmonary tuberculosis with the spinal tuberculosis. Now I am receiving treatment for Multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR). I suffer from the side effects of drugs: nausea, skin lesions, and hearing loss at the time I take medicine. That is why medicine has become an obsession for me. I also feel breathless and fatigue by a little physical exertion. I quit my job as a security guard since I had a relapse TB because I don’t feel well enough to do anything. I am just sitting around my room due in part to my physical weakness, another reason from discrimination from surrounding people. Only persons without knowing my condition talk to me while some others, even my family members, are afraid of touching and talking to me. They are afraid of disease transmission. This is the reason I isolate myself and don’t want to talk anyone.

The worst thing is that my wife is also receiving treatment for MDR-TB as well. Her condition is worse than mine. We are living on the deepest sympathy from our family members, catholic charities and PROPER CARE program. Not only financial support, they help build spiritual strength to overcome these difficulties we are facing. I have 2 children: my little son is looked after by my parents, and my daughter who is staying with us goes to school without any strings attached. I am grateful for their consideration.

I hope my wife and me to get a full recovery after our therapy, which is my desire more than anything. I plan to look for the job after my successfully treatment to support my family in the future. Also, I wish I have the amount of money for a surgery to remove the tumor in my back.”