“I was hospitalized for six months when I got diagnosed with multiple-drug resistant tuberculosis. I could not even stand on my feet out of weakness.”
Diagnosed with the disease in 2010, 43-year-old Togoo could not get medications in time, which worsened her disease, becoming multiple-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) two years later, leading to her hospitalisation.
With the care of her family, she got back on her feet.
“After getting out of the hospital, I started the medication treatment under the supervision of doctors,” she shared.
To survive MDR-TB requires taking the necessary medications as the first and most crucial step, but many side effects of the various pills are difficult for vulnerable patients.
Suffering already from symptoms of tuberculosis such as chronic fatigue, weight loss, cough, pain and fever, many patients cannot bear the heavy side effects of medications and eventually stop, and do not survive.
To help patients with their recovery, World Vision partnered with the local hospital’s TB unit and implemented the “Hot meal” project to boost patient’s immune systems.
Mongolia is one of the seven TB high burden countries in the Western Pacific Region, and Darkhan-Uul province has one of the highest TB rates in the country, with 26 cases for every 10,000 people, which is 1.7 times higher than the national average.
Rates of multiple-drug resistant tuberculosis patients have increased and there is often only a limited supply drugs for the management of adverse effects in TB treatment.
“Patients diagnosed with MDR-TB take as many as 20 pills a day which can have significant adverse effects if they have weak immune system. To help patients with their recovery, World Vision partnered with the local hospital’s TB unit and implemented the “Hot meal” project to boost patient’s immune systems, as well as series of seminars for behaviour change,” explained Ankhbayar, the World Vision Darkhan Area Development Programme health project officer.
The project helped the 15 most vulnerable MDR-TB patients to fully recover by ensuring that they took their medications regularly and minimizing the adverse effects of medications.
“Most of the MDR-TB patients were not able to eat proper meals, so we would come to the hospital eagerly to eat our warm meal and take the medicines after. Now I am completely recovered, healthy, and happy thanks to the doctors and World Vision. I live with my 17-year-old son and sister. It is nice to be healthy and back to my work at the food factory after two years,” Togoo smiled with her kind eyes.