XDR TB, extra drug resistant tuberculosis, is a problem in South Africa. Read the reality of providing health care for those with TB and Leprosy at Lakka Chest Hospital in Sierra Leone. What will happen if XDR TB invades the rest of Africa?
Atrocities at Lakka Chest Hospital – National TB/Leprosy Control Program
July 28, 2006, 10:55 am
“When drawing sputum samples, hand the patient a cup to spit into, stand upwind, and then tell the patients to cough,” said the Tuberculosis (TB) Lab Coordinator in a monotone voice. I briskly responded, “Don’t you wear masks?!” Slightly puzzled, he said, “No.” More puzzled than him, I asked, “Aren’t you worried about getting TB?” He responded, “No, I just focus on staying healthy.” Without understanding, I ignorantly rephrased my question, “But don’t you worry about becoming infected?” He responded soberly, “I am infected. [Pause] We are all infected, except perhaps you...”
Staring at the dirt road from the window of the staff bus, I allowed myself to be jostled into resignation of TB infection. After years of negative PPDs and a culture enforcing such a result, I was assured to return PPD positive and be required to take nine months of isoniazid (INH) therapy. How many times in my life would I take INH therapy? While other menial questions passed through mind, my pondering settled upon the remarkably growing awareness between TB control in the Bronx, New York, and Lakka, Sierra Leone. However, my imagin...