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True story of Gull Fareen - a resident of Hattar area district Haripur

Gull Fareen is a resident of Hattar area District Haripur. She is married and has a three years old son. Her Husband is barber and getting meager earning out of it. Gull Fareen's parents died of TB when she was very young. Before diagnosed with TB she was living in joint family with her in-laws.

Gull Fareen was married happily and was living a healthy life but soon after her TB was diagnosed the scenario of her life changed completely. The relationships changed and so did their behaviors. She became a dejected figure at home and out side as well. However, among all these odd behaviors her only ray of hope was her husband - who stood steadfast with her.

Gull Fareen had cough since long and she contacted many private doctors but they were unable to diagnose the disease. The prescriptions of these doctors proved ineffective as she didn't get any relief. Upon the query, how she came to know about TB? She said "Once bajis (TAF Team) arranged a programme on TB in our neighborhood. I also participated in the programme where I came to know about TB and the hospital where TB can be diagnosed. As my symptoms were like the one discussed, I feared that I might have TB. I visited Kot hospital and there they took my sputum for test. When my test results came doctor sahib told me that I had TB".

She told her husband and then her mother in law and rest of in-laws got the information about her TB. The news of Gull Fareen's disease spread in her neighborhood and every one distanced from her, because of fear that they will also get the disease.
My in-laws separated my home by erecting wall in the courtyard. I was pregnant when my disease was diagnosed. At that hour of need there was nobody to support me.

Gull Fareen was bed ridden and was unable to do household chores, but nobody was bothered about it. Her room floor was not cemented and the grass grew there because she was unable to clean it.
My mother in law took my son and told him that ammi is gandi (dirty). My son refused to sleep with me and taking any food from my hands.

Meanwhile I gave birth to son but due to my insufficient food intake he was so weak that he was not getting proper feed from me. As a result he died.

All these atrocities couldn't deter her courage and she was following regular treatment. Slowly and gradually she started feeling better and was regaining health. Upon seeing her improving health her in-laws also started coming to her home and so did her neighbors. Now everything is ok .She has completed treatment and has started a healthy life. "I can do all my household chores. I am feeling better and happy. Now I will be advising other TB patient to start treatment from Kot (diagnostic center) – as it's free of cost and quality one".

Collected & Compiled by: Ms. Shandana Khisro, ACSM Task Coordinator (PTP, NWFP) Editied by: Ms. Mariam Raza, Task Coordinator (NTP, Islamabad)

Dated: 2013-05-20