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Transforming Challenges into Opportunity


See how courage and edurance brings happiness to the life of a TB patient Tor Dand - a far flung village of District Karak and abode of Mrs. Jamshed Begum, a TB patient who has successfully completed her treatment. Mrs. Jamshed is married to an aged person and has three kids. She is the second wife of her husband (as from the first wife her husband had no kids therefore he married Jamshed who is much younger than him). TB was not new to Jamshed, as her father too suffered from it. He took treatment from Dadar Sanatorium and now is leading a healthy life. Jamshed developed symptoms of TB at an early age. She, from time to time took treatment from various private doctors but due to poverty she couldn’t afford complete treatment which resulted into non-compliance. The avoidable suffering which she faced due to the fact that she could not understand the gravity of the problem resulted into a chain of problems after marriage. Her negligence, compulsions and bad luck followed her till the door of her in-laws. She got TB, when she was pregnant. Her symptoms i.e. temperature, severe cough with blood stained sputum disclosed the disease to her in-laws. When the news of TB reached to her husband he broke all marital relationships. Ironically, her in-laws too were not cooperative and they treated her as untouchable. "My mother in-law was not allowing me to take water from the well as it would get contaminated with my germs. Moreover, I was told to separate my utensils and not join them in meal. Sometime I was getting bored with my routine food and wanted to have something else but nobody paid heed to my desire - they were only concerned about the household work which I had to accomplish at any cost", Jamshed remembers sorrowfully. During all these odd days the only happiness she got was the birth of a child. But unfortunately this happiness did not last long. Her husband’s first wife took her child, with the pretext that he would get TB. "All the day I was crying for my child as I was missing him. May Allah not render a bird issueless let alone the human being as its very painful for the mother when her child is taken away from her", mourns Jamshed. Slowly and gradually the days were passing and she was looking forward for the moment when her sufferings would come to an end and that’s happened when Aurat Foundation arranged awareness Programme on TB at Karak, which was attended by Ms Nasreen who was Jamshed’s neighbor as well as Aurat Foundation focal group member. The comprehensive session on TB changed Nasreen’s mind and she recalled the plight of Jamshed. Upon her return she took Jamshed to the diagnostic centre where her TB got confirmed and treatment started. "When I came to know about the availibity of free treatment I absolutely agreed to carry on my complete treatment as I wanted to have a healthy and happy life with my kids", says Jamshed. Jamshed started treatment from the TB Control Programme when she was the mother of three kids. She was regularly following advice of the doctor till the completion of her treatment and finally she was declared cured. During the treatment her husband’s first wife created a lot of hindrances for her but she continued with her treatment. Nasreen was subjected to criticism by Jamshed’s family but she ignored all these criticisms and stood fast with her treatment till completion. Nasreen recalls, "Whenever I was looking at Jamshed I was feeling sorry for her because she was not getting support from anywhere; neither from her in-laws nor from her parents. First wife of Jamshed's husband put accusation on me and were telling neighbors that they are going for outing not for treatment". During the treatment her husband brought cattle home and Jamshed was made responsible for its care and feed. Jamshed says, "I was suffering from temperature. Whenever my situation deteriorated I was taking pain killer and again started to work but I was happy that at least my treatment had started and I would be having a healthy life. My treatment completed and the results are visible. Now I am eating together with my family and well received by my parents who deserted me when I needed help". Jamshed is the emblem of fortitude courage and endurance who ceaselessly wrestled the obstacles coming between her disease and getting cured. The journey from the TB patient to the healthy life is not smooth; one has to face a lot of challenges, which are baseless and unreasonable. She had been through all these challenges and instead of hiding behind these challenges she faced them boldly. Her devotion has transformed these challenges into an opportunity for her which she seized for changing the impression of her family members regarding TB. 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

Dated: 2013-05-31