“TB is the child of poverty – and also its parent and provider.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu
This is certainly the case with Nababa, a 40 years old TB patient living in a very interior rural village of Madhya Pradesh.
He is just 40 years old but his body shows as if he is in his late fifties. He’s become frail, can’t walk properly, and it seems like tuberculosis has consumed his whole body.
The combination of illness with his pitiable economic condition has made his life even more miserable. Every day, Nababa has to swallow seven tablets, many times without taking a single bite of bread. As the only person in his family to earn, not only does he suffer from malnourishment, but those who depend on him do as well.
He used to earn his daily wage but now earning anything is impossible in his present physical condition. There are times when he does not get food for three consecutive days. He is actually starving; other basic necessities are out of question.
His wife died long ago. While he has a son and a 13 year old daughter, his son has abandoned him. Nababa is left to provide for his daughter and together they struggle.
Eventually, he should be fine and be able to return to work, earning his daily wage and caring for his daughter. However, there is no sudden cure, no sudden relief. Nababa has months of drug therapy ahead.
The lingering question is how will he and his daughter survive throughout the treatment? What will she need to do to feed themboth? With no income, no savings, no one to help them, there is plenty of fear and no hope.
This story of Nababa is, sadly, not unique. Many other persons are in a similar situation, living in such a miserable condition due to disease and back-breaking poverty.
An old Arabic proverb states, “He who has health has hope; and he who has hope has everything.” We can bring health and hope to him, his daughter, and others suffering similar conditions. How?
Please visit our website and learn more about our efforts to eradicate tuberculosis. With even a small donation, you can improve the situation for Nababa and others like him: http://www.opasha.org/donate/
With your support there can be a happy ending to this story.
Written by Shubhika Dwivedi