South Africa: Covid-19 From the Perspective of a Drug-Resistant TB Survivor


For now, let us just hope for the best, a drop in the number of cases at least. We'll deal with the demons when we've fought and overcome this crisis, and we can only achieve that by working together. 'Nkosi sikelel'izwelakho' (God bless your world).

My name is Bongekile Booi, but some call me Bobo. I am a 20-year-old woman living in Khayelitsha in the Western Cape with both my parents, my niece, my nephew and my eight-month-old baby boy. Khayelitsha is one of the hotspot areas for Covid-19 infections in the province and it was the first township to record a Covid-19 case in the Western Cape. As of 21 July 2020, there are 7,780 proven cases in this area. It is a big township that consists of mostly informal settlements, making it easy for the virus to keep spreading.

In 2016, I was diagnosed with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB). It was a scary time when treatment was difficult and unpredictable. There was a lot of troubling stigma around the disease, and its treatment and even though today I am cured, I see similar issues around stigma and distrust around the current pandemic.

It is hard for people to follow...

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