South Africa: TB Patients Still Shunned By Families

analysis

Despite South Africa being the only country in the world to make a new TB drug available to all who have drug-resistant TB, many TB patients are still avoided by their families.

"It felt like my entire family just dumped me in the hospital to die," remembered mother-of-two Nomasonto Lubisi from eMalahleni in Mpumalanga after being diagnosed with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).

Shortly after her diagnosis in December 2017, Lubisi was admitted to a provincial hospital and placed on a treatment regimen consisting of a cocktail of potent drugs.

One of these medicines was bedaquiline, the first anti-TB drug developed in almost half a century. This makes Lubisi one of just 28,700 people on the planet with access to the life-saving drug. More than two-thirds of these patients are in South Africa, which is one of a number of reasons the country has received widespread praise for its anti-TB policies.

But Lubisi didn't feel that fortunate:

"My family were scared of getting TB from me and made me live in isolation before I went to hospital. I was in there a year and they didn't visit me, not even once."

In light of her experience, the words uttered by Deputy President...

See What Everyone is Watching

More From: Daily Maverick

Don't Miss

AllAfrica publishes around 600 reports a day from more than 150 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.