“TB is nothing to be afraid of…”

“TB is nothing to be afraid of…”

“I was a smoker at the time I was diagnosed with TB two years ago. The doctor told me I was even more at risk due to my habit of smoking. I was miserable because I couldn’t even hug or kiss my children when I wanted to.

I wanted to be healthy. In fact, even before I got TB, I was scared of going near my children because I used to smell of cigarettes all the time and it wasn’t healthy for my children. So, after starting treatment I quit smoking.

First month of treatment was very difficult for me and I couldn’t go to work. But I was determined to defeat TB and I did it. Now I do not have TB and have quit smoking altogether. I feel healthy, have a zest for life, and have a good appetite. I can kiss my children whenever I want.

“In the community, people have a fear of TB but if we take precautions, we will not spread TB.”

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In the community, people have a fear of TB but if we take precautions, we will not spread TB. I was very careful not to go close to people. I feel I got TB because I never used to have proper meals, and used to smoke a lot. I want to counsel and motivate other patients and share my experiences with them. I want to tell other patients that if you adhere to the doctor’s advice and follow the treatment you will be cured. TB is nothing to be afraid of.” – Syed Rahman, TB Survivor

Mr. Syed Rahman owns a souvenir shop at Marina Beach and has been in this business since he was a child. He specializes in message writing and carvings on keychains. This story is part of our new series called Voices of TB Heroesthat features TB survivors and community volunteers whove impacted the lives of those affected by TB

According to the Global TB Report for 2016 that was released last month, India continues to bear the worlds highest burden of TB, with 2.8 million people affected by the disease last year. Despite being curable, TB kills over 1000 people every day in India.

At the heart of Indias battle against TB are those directly affected by the disease. It is their stories that we need to hear, their struggles and battles we need to support and their victories we must celebrate. Please read and share these stories widely.

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