“I make my living selling flower and tree seedlings. Mostly from my stall in town, but I also supply flowers to many people and businesses. Unfortunately my trade has suffered recently because I have been very sick with tuberculosis (TB).
TB affects your ability to work, or to study, or pretty much anything because you become very weak, often because you also lose your appetite. I need lots of energy because I deliver my flowers on foot and when I became sick I just couldn’t do it.
I was sick for quite a few months and my local clinic could not get to the bottom of it. I had many tests including two for TB but it was all negative. I have three kids and I have to work to provide food, clothes and school fees so things became desperate because I stopped working for seven months. I am actually lucky to be alive. Even now I am still not fully recovered and I have lost a lot of business to other guys who saw an opening.
My illness was finally diagnosed as TB by APOPO who use rats to smell our samples that they collected from the clinics. If the rats suspect TB, APOPO then confirms it in their high-tech lab. When my clinic called me and told me to come in for treatment I was so relieved. I thought I was going to die and who would look after my family then?”
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