Honor a mom on Mother’s Day!

CAT_7551 Maria Josefa Nhamtumbo@2x

A celebration of mothers, motherhood, maternal bonds, and the influence of mothers in society.

“TB” is short for a disease called tuberculosis. TB is spread through the air from one person to another. TB germs are passed through the air when someone who is sick with TB disease of the lungs or throat coughs, speaks, laughs, sings, or sneezes. Anyone near the sick person with TB can breathe TB germs into their lungs.

Maria and her husband have four children, 2 boys and 2 girls. She got tuberculosis (TB) from him while caring for him during his illness. There is often a negative stigma in the community about TB, but she knew that with proper treatment she could be fully cured of her illness. It helped that her husband went through it first, so she learnt a lot from that time. Moms like Maria, give their all every day to provide for their families. She relies on the food she sells at the market to feed her family. For mothers in countries with a high TB-burden being freed from the weight of illness changes everything.

TB affected her work and income drastically. She had to take time off to look after him and then she became extremely weak and felt constant pain. Her clinic was unable to give her a diagnosis and sent a sample to be tested by APOPO. Once she tested positive for TB by the HeroRATs, APOPO’s lab confirmed the rat findings and notified her clinic.

She was very relieved that she could begin treatment. She had regular TB which meant taking a few different antibiotics for about 6 months with regular re-testing and continuous medication. Eventually her tests came back negative and she could begin to rebuild her life and care for her family again. 

APOPO and the HeroRATs provided a quick and accurate diagnosis, and partner community health workers encouraged Maria and her family throughout the process. Without a diagnosis she would not have been able to receive treatment and without treatment she could have died or passed it on to one of my children.

Make this Mother’s Day one to remember by making a priceless gift in honor of a mom in your life.  The most powerful action you can take right now to help build resilience and hope for mothers, their families, and our world is to give them the gift of good health.