Defaulting TB medication puts you & your loved ones at risk

Jedida and her family together with KMET TB Reach Program Officer, Adriano Ngaywa (far right, white shirt) when he made contact tracing.

Jedida(blue tshirt, second right) and her family  when we made contact tracing at he house.

Jedida Atieno lives a modest life in Malunga village, Siaya County with her husband and seven children. The grass thatched house is evidently too crowded for the children- the eldest 8 and youngest 4 years old.  She and her husband are subsistence farmers.
In 2013, Jedida started feeling unwell a little more often. The persistent cough and night sweat continued even after buying over the counter medication for a while. She still experienced the on and off signs prompting her to seek further medical attention.
In June, she went to Siaya County Hospital where a sputum test turned positive for TB. She was then put on medication which was to run for six months. However, she defaulted having taken her medication for June, July, and August.
She had gone to a funeral and had overstayed for two months failing to take her medication as prescribed.
In December, Jedida gathered courage and went to Ngiya Mission Hospital where a sputum microscopy was done same for HIV test. Both tests turned positive.
She was initiated to second line treatment of TB from the month of December to August 2014. During this period Jedida  became pregnant.

KMET TB Reach Quality Assurance Officer, Dennis Nyaoko talks to Jedida Atieno when she visited one of the Huduma Poa facilities for assessmentWhen the baby was born she was started on isoniazid prophylaxis for six months to prevent her from getting TB from the mother.
The child kept on getting sick with persistent fever, night sweats and did not respond to Paracetamol. The little girl was frequently admitted to Siaya County Hospital between the months of June and September continuously losing weight.
Luckily in November, a Community Health Worker (TB agent) working in the KMET TB reach program visited Jedida’s house where she revealed her predicament. She told the CHW about the babies’ situation.

When the KMET Tb reach team visited the area the CHW led them to Jedida’s residence. From there they made an assessment for the child recommending contact tracing for the husband and the children. The child was then taken to the paedtrics at Ngiya Mission Hospital where she scored nine above the normal range that is seven on the Paedtrics TB score chart.
She was immediately put on TB treatment. With time her condition has improved, she has gained weight, the fever has subsided and she is now active like any other child at her age.

“Thank you KMET for coming to my aide, my condition is getting better. I would like to advice others they need to adhere to medication so as to fight the disease” Jedida says.

In 2005, its estimated 7.6 per cent of patients in Kenya defaulted from TB treatment.

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