Asma’s illness progressed quickly leaving her weak and struggling to look after her baby.
“My illness began with aching bones, but soon I was coughing, sweating at night and I had a fever. I went to the pharmacy and they gave me antibiotics but it didn’t help. I went to my local clinic who tested me for various things but didn’t come up with anything concrete. For three months, nobody knew why I was so sick and eventually I passed my sickness on to my daughter. Because I was not diagnosed, we thought, and hoped, that she was just teething. I got worse and soon all I could do was sleep. I had no energy, and I didn’t want to eat. I believe that I was close to death at that point.
But my husband received a call from the clinic to say that my sample had been passed to an organisation called APOPO who use rats to quickly screen samples before retesting them. The rats can smell TB and they identified my sample as potentially TB-positive. After APOPO then retested my sample, TB was confirmed. I began treatment immediately and I am now feeling much better.
Because of my illness, my daughter has since been tested again, and diagnosed with TB and she is also on treatment and is now safe. My husband does not have any symptoms and he was tested negative, but we are keeping our eye on him… ”