In this photofilm, Happiness Dlamini talks about her experiences of living with the treatment for drug-resistant TB (tuberculosis).
Happiness, who has a four-year old daughter and an eleven-year old son, lives in the Shiselweni Region of Swaziland. In 2003 she discovered that she was HIV positive and last year she found out she also was infected with drug-resistant tuberculosis.
She’s undergoing an arduous two year treatment course which requires her to take 15 pills each day as well as having a painful daily injection for the first six months of her treatment. The side effects of the drugs she is using are very debilitating.
Patients on these drugs can experience a wide range of side effects that include severe nausea, psychosis, kidney problems and profound deafness. Patients also have to adjust the way they live with their families to reduce the risk of transmitting the disease to them and others in the community.
This can lead to a terrible sense of isolation.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and TB in Swaziland: MSF started treating patients with drug-resistant TB at the start of 2008 and is currently treating 157 drug-resistant TB patients in Shiselweni Region alongside the teams of the National TB Control programme.