27-year-old in Mumbai struggling to find ray of hope while battling tuberculosis
She was diagnosed with multi-drug TB at St Elizabeth hospital, Mumbai, in 2014.mumbai Updated: Mar 23, 2018 00:47 IST
In the narrow alley at Koliwada, Worli, 27-year-old Roma, a patient with extensive drug resistant tuberculosis (TB) has stopped taking medicines. Her emaciated face is the first thing that gets everyone’s attention. She was diagnosed with multi-drug TB at St Elizabeth hospital, Mumbai, in 2014.
Back then, she took the medicines regularly for over a year, but eventually, lack of will and a recurrent state of despondence took over, after which she stopped her medicines.
“I lost the will to take medicines and neither do I feel like doing anything. The medicines used to make me nauseous.”
After the private hospital notified her case, Revised National Tuberculosis Control Program (RNTCP) officials contacted her only to realise that the resistance had increased and had become an XDR case. Roma lives with her father, who is a local fisherman, her mother, who is a domestic help, and her two siblings in a small room. She spends most of her day at home.
She had confessed to the local District TB officer (DTO) that her father is an alcoholic and taunts her about her illness. Doctors are worried that if she continues without medications, she will become one of the many loss-to-follow-up patients. Moreover, if she acquires further resistance, the treatment will get extremely tough. When HT visited Roma, she said, she intends to start the medication again. However, DTOs said she drops outs midway, each time she resumes her treatment.