For a month, Eddy Nguhuni, a head teacher at Bwirya Primary School, in Namanfovu sub-county, Butaleja District, Eastern Uganda suffered a persistent dry cough.
“My chest hurt and I had lost my appetite. At night, I would wake up drenched in sweat. I dropped weight from 90 kg to 78kg. “I was very weak. I couldn’t even lift five kilograms,” says Nguhuni,
In March 2022, Nguhuni returned to Busolwe General Hospital, Butaleja District, which provides comprehensive TB ad HIV services through USAID LPHS-E implemented by Baylor-Uganda.
“He thought it was malaria. But I counselled him about finding the real cause,” says Charles Okia, the TB Focal Person of Butaleja District. “We provide all hospital attendees with TB screening services irrespective of the reason for visiting the Hospital”
Because Nguhuni could not cough any sputum, a urine sample was taken from him to test for TB. It turned positive for TB. Nguhuni started a six months treatment immediately.
“I am lucky that it was my wife only at home when I got the news. The children were at school at the time. Otherwise, they too would have been at risk of infection,” says Nguhuni.
Nguhuni agreed to start six months of treatment immediately, taking tablets. “I was not scared that I couldn’t heal. I saw my brother who had suffered TB healed once he completed his treatment” he says.
With support from USAID LPHS-E, Okia conducted contact tracing in Bwirya days after Nguhuni was diagnosed. Fortunately, neither his wife nor his neighbors tested positive for TB. The wife supported him during his treatment journey.
“Often, I visited his home to encourage him to adhere to the treatment. says Patrick Wasana, a Community Health Worker and TB survivor attached to Busolwe General Hospital.
Within months, the cough disappeared. He regained his appetite, followed by weight gain. After six months, Nguhuni had returned to Busolwe Hospital for a sputum test. “I was TB free but I had to continue with treatment for another six months to prevent future disease,” he says.
“In August 2022, I completed TB prevention medication. I have stabilized my weight at 85 kg. And no longer suffer any complication,” says Nguhuni. “I take every opportunity to tell people I interact with about TB, and how available and safe the treatment is. Thanks to the dedicated staff at Busolwe Hospital.”
Nguhini is among the 447 TB patients whom LPHS-E has supported to successfully complete their treatment since October 2021 to date.
“Thank you USAID LPHS-E Baylor for committing to ending TB, and supporting community TB activities to reach those unable to come to Busolwe Hospital” says Okia.