A Human Interest Story

The hard hitting truth of a child's pain suffering with MDR-TB -a Care Giver's report

"A 2 year 9 month old child has MDR-TB following her mother who was treated for MDR before and was admitted at Murchison Hospital. Her father was also diagnosed with MDR-TB and we gave him injections by the river, as there was no road to his home. We could not leave the vehicle alone on the road. Her father was also admitted at Murchison Hospital and the mother was on pill medication staying with the child at home. The child was also diagnosed MDR-TB while her father was in Hospital. The mother took the child to King George Hospital in Durban for treatment. She was sent back to the MDR Team to give her injections. Dr Nel was a great support who helped me work out the dose of Kanamycin injection. He also recommended that we give the child a glucose drink before getting injections as it eases the pain. The glucose powder was bought for the child and given prior to getting injections every day.

I felt so bad having to give injections to so small a child, to those small bums. I had to face the challenge and do the job. It is so difficult though, to put up with the screaming and crying, fighting, kicking during the procedure.

The team carries sour fig to apply on her bums to relieve pain. Lately we have been supplied with Down to Earth Cream which also helps to ease the pain and cool the injection site. Her father, now that he is back from the hospital and also continues with injections admires the Down to Earth Cream and says it is really helping to relieve the pain, as he is very sensitive to pain.

Colleen from UHC Team did us a favour by donating packets of sweets for the child to comfort and quieten her after getting injections and this really helps to quieten her. Colleen supplies sweets continuously for the child. Her parents have moved from the old site which was far from the road. They hired a 2 roomed house near the road close to the local clinic. When the Team arrived at her home, the child runs to meet us, and is becoming friendly because of the sweets.

Recently the child’s eyes were red and we panicked thinking it was a reaction to the injection. This was reported to our co-ordinator Sr Zola who instructed us to take the child to the local clinic. The Paediatric Sister was not sure about the reaction because the child had no rash on her face. The child was given eye treatment to use for 5 days after which were to return to the clinic. After 5 days the redness in the child’s eyes had not cleared. She had to be seen by a Doctor. Fortunately she was going to King George Hospital for her monthly review appointment the following day. The doctor at King George Hospital simply ordered another eye treatment. With the 2 eye treatments, the redness in the child’s eyes is gradually clearing".