Partner: MUKIKUTE Team

CAT_3663 Volunteers - MIKUKUTE team photo@2x

Partner: MUKIKUTE Team

Personal stories from former TB-patient volunteer group MUKIKUTE.

Iluminata Komba

“15 years ago, I came down with TB. I almost died. At that time most of the hospitals around here diagnosed TB just with a physical examination or an X-Ray. You were lucky if you got tested using microscopy. It took me many weeks to get a correct diagnosis and that is just too long. I didn’t know anything about TB and at that time HIV was hitting Tanzania hard. We didn’t know much about that either, so everyone was scared of my illness. But TB is curable, and todays treatment means that HIV is no longer a death sentence. But back then, I felt very isolated. Many of my friends, and even some family refused to help me or they stopped visiting. That is why today I volunteer with MUKIKUTE. I want to help other people who might be having a similar bad experience”

Kassim Hamadi

“MUKIKUTE is currently made up of 120 volunteers, mainly in Dar es Salaam, but we have volunteers in other towns. Tuberculosis is spread across the whole country but concentrates in cities because that’s where people go for work and they often live and sleep in small rooms with many other people. If one of them happens to have TB, and coughs all night, everyone in the room is at risk. MUKIKUTE is here to educate people on those risks, and what to do if you, or someone you know shows symptoms – GET TESTED! People wait for so long because of the costs in time and money it takes to go and get tested. But believe me, TB will not let go of you until you get treatment or you die. It’s up to you!”

Leah Charles

“What I like best about volunteering for MUKIKUTE is the TB clubs we organise. These are regular community sensitisation sessions that people can come to to ask advice, or, more often than not, just listen. Often people are scared to be associated with TB because friends, family and colleagues are uninformed, and they get treated differently and isolated. So they keep their illness secret, often until it is too late to do anything for them. The TB clubs allow people to find out about TB, how to recognise it and where to go and get tested. Often they say they are there to find out about TB for ‘a friend’. Perhaps that is true, but we recognise symptoms immediately. We tell them their friend has nothing to worry about as long as they get tested as soon as possible and get on treatment. TB is curable. Nobody should die let alone the 1.6 million people in the world who die from the illness every year. That is the tragedy of TB”.

15 years ago, I came down with TB. I almost died. At that time most of the hospitals around here diagnosed TB just with a physical examination or an X-Ray.

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