TB: What Diagnosis Really Means

TB: What Diagnosis Really Means
27 March 2017
LifeDoc chats to two people who have undergone treatment for Tuberculosis...

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the biggest health concerns in South, and Sub-Saharan, Africa. Stats SA recently revealed that the disease remains the leading cause of death for many South Africans, over the past three years. A TB diagnosis, however, need not be a death sentence. We chatted to two South Africans who were diagnosed with Tuberculosis, underwent treatment and have gone on to thrive in their lives.

Michelle Makes Good Things Happen
Now a Junior Doctor in Johannesburg, Michelle contracted Tuberculosis from a patient, through her previous work as a nursing assistant. Unfortunately, she contracted Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis (MDR-TB), which requires a far more rigorous set of treatments, due to the disease’s resistance to, at least, two of the most important available drugs. Michelle tells us:

“I was diagnosed eighteen months ago, and some of the side effects to treatment were quite severe, so regular monitoring was important. The moment I started to have any bad side effects, we’d change to a different treatment very quickly. Having MDR-TB means you must be monitored more than usual, and there are different types of pills and injections. TB can affect so many different parts of your body, so being checked is important. When you are in treatment, doctors check your lungs, ribs and your kidneys, because the disease can affect so much. I have completed treatment now, and I’m happy in my career.”

Blessing Takes TB Seriously
A Security Guard, living in Johannesburg, Blessing was alarmed to find that he was rapidly losing weight, and his appetite, in 2014. Constantly feeling weak, he became quite concerned for his health, and headed to his doctor for advice and a consultation. Blessing shared his story with us:

“I was losing a lot of weight, and when I was diagnosed, I started TB treatment immediately. I would go for regular check-ups, and was on treatment for three months.  It’s easy to follow the treatment, with your doctor guiding you, and even if you feel better, you must finish the treatment. It’s so important to follow your treatment schedule. I do go for follow up checks every three months – this is very important to me.”  

LifeDoc Can Help
LifeDoc™ is here to help. Now available for download as an Android app (with iOS coming soon!), LifeDoc™ helps you take charge of your personal health information, while making it easier to keep track of appointments, schedule those important check-ups and securely store your personal medical history. Use LifeDoc™ to help you manage your chronic conditions; keeping track of your important health readings and easily share them with your medical practitioner at your next appointment. Register here or like the LifeDoc™ Facebook page for regular updates. You can also stay on track with LifeDoc™ developments on Twitter.