Meet Elizabeth Auma Oduogi, a 30-year-old single mother of three from Roco B village, Rarieda Sub-County, Siaya County. She is a tailor by profession though she does not practice the trade at the moment. She currently helps out her grandmother in her farm.
“On 24th December 2016 I had a terrible headache and was taken to hospital where they diagnosed me with Malaria and treated; but I was not getting better. They later told me that my blood level was low and thus the cause of the headache. I lost appetite, I lost weight, was weak, would sweat at night and my chest was severely aching. This forced me to move back home from Nairobi,” narrates Elizabeth.
Back at home, her condition got worse and she went to St. Elizabeth Hospital, Lwak Hospital. She says she was coughing and had chest pains accompanied by a fever. She had trouble sleeping at night and would roll the whole night on the floor trying to get sleep. Her weight had dropped to 49kg.
“At this point I was coughing so much and I remember my mother telling me that she suspects I have TB. She took me to hospital where I was admitted and true to it the results came out positive. I took three tablets (RHZE) up to the time I got to 55kgs when my medication was changed to four tablets. I was told that TB is treatable if I take the medication as instructed,” says Elizabeth Elizabeth said being TB positive was very painful and for a while could not understand why she got TB but she was determined to get well. The encouragement from staff at the hospital and her mother helped her to adhere to her treatment.
The clinical officer who attended to her said once she tested positive, she was given food supplements to boast her weight and health. He attributes the availability of the supplements to AMREF who supply them for TB patients.
“Later I went for HIV test and it turned out positive and it broke my heart. I started ARVs immediately and programmed myself to be taking both HIV and TB medication. My last born child is also positive. It was the toughest time of my life. I was counselled in the hospital to accept myself. I did,” says Elizabeth.
Today she is TB free and encourages others facing the same dilemma to be committed to their treatment.