The start of 2017 saw concern over a sharp increase in the rise of drug- resistant TB in South Africa. TB is killing millions each year. Last week, Médecins Sans Frontières published promising early data on the use of two new TB drugs, delamanid and bedaquiline, among patients living with drug-resistant TB in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. But availability remains the biggest concern.
Sinethemba Kuse, 18, invited her friends and family to a celebratory party on 22 September. But it wasn't a birthday or graduation: the Khayelitsha teenager had taken the last of her TB medication.
Kuse was diagnosed with multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) just before Christmas when she was just 16. Her grandmother had lost all hope, she says. She thought Kuse was going to die.
It was already a difficult time. "I lost my aunt in December, the one I was living with because my mother died when I was still a baby," says Kuse. "The day my aunt was laid to rest, I started getting sick. I did not have an appetite. My skin colour was pale and I was shaking, sweating a lot at night. I did not enjoy all the things I...