AGE: 17 years
FAMILY HISTORY OF TUBERCULOSIS: His brother suffered from tuberculosis
TYPE OF TUBERCULOSIS: Positive (contagious)
TUBERCULOSIS STAGE: CAT I, Intensive phase
When I first meet Krishna, a 17 year old boy who suffers from tuberculosis, he tells me that it has been hard to live a normal and happy life. He looks frail, his chest bones are very prominent and he has deep sunken eyes. Those who know him, tell me there is a big difference in his physical appearance from before he got tuberculosis and now. Since being diagnosed with the disease, his friends have completely isolated him and refuse to be near him, talk to him or offer him their support.
Unfortunately the stigma attached to tuberculosis is very common in India. But when I talk to Krishna, I realise how wrong this isolation of tuberculosis sufferers is. Krishna is just another teen who is unfortunate enough to suffer from a disease like tuberculosis. Instead of isolating him, his friends should be there with him every step of the way. Because of this isolation Krishna has stopped studying, his grades have dropped and he cannot concentrate on anything for long. Imagine putting yourself in Krishna’s place, imagine how it would feel to suffer from tuberculosis and be isolated by your friends. It would be heart-wrenching.
People have this false illusion that boys are very strong; they can do anything and need no one. When I meet Krishna, I can see the opposite. He says he wants to be with his friends and feels for the first time in his life that he has no one to turn tofor help.
All over the world, more than 530,000 children like Krishna, suffer from tuberculosis and at least 1/3rd of them suffer from contagious or positive tuberculosis. Is it right to seclude these children at a time when they crave the support of friends and family?
Mahatma Gandhi once said, “It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.”
Make a donation which will treat a tuberculosis patient and save a human life today. http://www.us.opasha.org/donate/
Written by: Karmishtha Seth