TB free Khyber Pakhtunkhwa with Zero deaths, disease, and suffering caused by TB.
To end the TB epidemic in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by 2030.
I’ve Chosen Hope over Despair! True story of Basmeen from Yar Hussein, Swabi Basmeen, an unmarried girl from Yar Hussein, Swabi narrates her story of being a TB patient still living with the desires and hope for a new life – A TB free life. She is illiterate and belongs to a poor family and has no means to earn. She and her mother are dependent upon her brother who is married and having a large family. Being a poverty ridden family there are two TB patients in her family i.e. her mother and nephew. Her mother is having bone TB and is under treatment while, her nephew suffered from Lymph nodes TB and has successfully completed his treatment. Basmeen was suffering from Chest problem, severe cough and blood in sputum. Unaware of the nature of her disease she tried various health care providers i.e. Hakeem, Private Doctors etc but in vain. Private Doctor diagnosed her TB but due to her financial condition she left the treatment incomplete. The news of TB was like “bolt from the blue” for me. Different questions were haunting me as: I am so poor and this disease is of rich people why Allah has given this disease to me? I am totally dependent upon my brother how he will afford my treatment? Will I be cured from this deadly disease? Information about the government free TB diagnosis and treatment services provided by the National TB Programme were a blessing for her, as half worries of financial burden was relieved with it. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed twice with TB and got treatment from Mardan and Swabi diagnostic centers but her symptoms remained persistent with her. These are not only the symptoms of her disease but also the causes of her rejection, depression and agonies which she is facing every day. She clearly remembers initial days of her treatment when her sister in law completely sidelined her. As her utensils were separated and was not allowed to meet her brother’s kids. My Bhabi (sister in Law) was always fighting with me because I was unable to help her in doing household work. I felt embarrassed when my bhabi was doing all household work and I was sitting idle but my condition was not allowing me to do so. She was not willing to live with me as she considered me as a liability. Her sister-in-law was always in search of finding excuses of how to get rid of her and finally she succeeded in it. Once she fought with her and separated Basmeen and her mother by putting up a wall inside the house. When she lost all her hopes and went into disparity, the TAF team arranged session on TB in their neighbor wherein the TAF got information about her. The team approached her brother and after long deliberation succeeded in convincing him. Furthermore, they took comprehensive session with her sister in law on TB, which worked well and she feel embarrassed on what she did to her. Now they are living together with her. It was not only her sister in law who was giving her mental agony but her relatives also did the same. They were cursing her of being a TB patient and even were unwilling to talk to her. My cousin was making mockery of mine for something which was beyond my control .Anybody can get this disease so if I got what is special in it?. The fear of repetition of her disease had so much engulfed in her that she had lost her hope of getting married and even when she was getting some proposal she was rejecting it with the fear that she will not be able to manage her home. Secondly she was not agreeing with her family views of hiding her disease from the people who were proposing her. Basmeen’s life is the mosaic of sufferings, deprivations and grief. But in the midst of all these helplessness the only asset she has is her hope of getting cured which is giving her a hope to live and face all these odd situations with courage, patience and determination. She hopes the Day will Come when she will get cured and she will be back into life. Her hope has made her distinguished and outstanding from those who instead of bringing change in their lives are living with difficulties. Collected & Compiled by: Ms. Shandana Khisro, ACSM Task Coordinator (PTP, NWFP) Editied by: Ms. Mariam Raza, Task Coordinator (NTP, Islamabad) Posted On : 31-Dec-69