A Picture showing how the focus group held at Nkhwazi village.
On 2nd May 2018 Mtendere TB club invited Paradiso officers in Dedza to a focus group discussion at Nkhwazi village which was scheduled to take place on 8th June. The officer attended the focus group discussion and found out that one of the reasons the club members conducted the discussion in that area was due to a lady who defaulted TB treatment in fear of losing her marriage. One of the club’s relative is a relative to the lady and hence shared it with the club and suggested they conduct the focus group discussion in that area because there seems to be a lot of misconceptions especially in regards to HIV/AIDS and TB.
After the focus group discussion, the lady approached and met with the club members who were facilitating who referred her to the officers. The officers met with her and kick started discussions about her condition. After further counselling, she came around and admitted that she was diagnosed with TB and HIV/AIDS but has defaulted both medication due to fear of losing her husband if he was ever to find out.
The officers counseled her on the importance of disclosing her status to her partner when she was ready and encouraged her to return on treatment for both ailments. They encouraged her to go see a health worker at the nearest health facility for further assistance. Few days later, the club members followed her up and found out she did not go to the health facility. When they inquired on the reasons she did not go to the facility, she told the TB Club members that she will not go to the hospital because she did not feel like it. The chairperson of the Club called the Paradiso officers and informed them of the development with the lady; the officer advised them to seek help from the local leader of the area.
The Club and the local leader visited the lady and convinced her to go to the health facility and with the help of the Club members, she was put back on treatment. The Club members initiated contact tracing for her family members were two boys aged 11, 7, and a girl aged 14 were found TB positive and were put on treatment.
When the husband learnt of this development, he left the wife and children without saying goodbye, update he is nowhere to be seen and cannot be traced. Despite her fears coming to pass, the lady is glad and grateful to Paradiso for helping them make the right choice in regards to their health; they are all on medication and doing fine. /they hope a lot of people get the right messages which can help them make informed health choices.
As Paradiso we are happy because the family is living a happy life and surrounding households have factual knowledge and information about TB and can seek health services if they are showing TB signs and symptoms.