XDR-TB Treatment: Tumpa's Story

Location

Chittagong
Bangladesh
BD

Tumpa, a 14 year old high school student, was diagnosed with TB on March 27, 2011. Although she started taking TB medication the day after, she experienced treatment failure after three months of treatment and was diagnosed with Multi Drug Resistance Tuberculosis (MDR-TB). With her new diagnosis, Tumpa started to take her medication for MDR-TB in August of that year. However, after completing 16 months of treatment, her sputum culture and follow up result remained positive. She was then diagnosed with extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) in November 2012.

During her treatment period, she was admitted at Chest Disease Hospital (CDH) at Faujdarhat, Chittagong from July 2011 till January 2013. She then stayed at home for six months, since there were no drugs available to treat XRD TB in Bangladesh.

At last after a long wait, Tumpa was sent to Damien Foundation (DF) hospital, Netrakona with the support of TB CARE II project in July 2013, where a treatment facility for XDR-TB was completed in mid-2013. Tumpa was admitted to DF hospital until November 2013, when she began receiving treatment for XDR-TB.

After five months of hospitalization, Tumpa returned to Chittagong and continued her treatment under the management of Community Based Programmatic Management of Drug Resistance TB (cPMDT), implemented by the National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTP) in Bangladesh with the support of TB CARE II project. Her daily treatment was under the supervision of DOT providers Hosne Ara Akhter and Kamol Nandy.

Finally, after continued treatment under cPMDT, she was declared cured on August 27, 2015.

While TB treatment, especially treatment of MDR-TB and XDR-TB, is accompanied by uncomfortable side effects, Tumpa’s story serves as encouragement for thousands of TB patients to remain under treatment. During her four years of TB treatment, Tumpa suffered from many Adverse Drug Reactions (ADR); however, this young girl could continue her treatment under the cPMDT program.

Tumpa is now back to her normal life and, after a long break of study, she is back to school and preparing for her upcoming exam.  

While Tumpa herself completed her XDR-TB treatment, we must acknowledge the contribution of TB CARE II project and the support of Regional Coordinator Lutfun Nahar and District Coordinator Nizamul Islam of Chittagong Region to make her story one of success and inspiration. 

News Source: 
A N M Al Imran, University Research Co., LLC
Photograph of Tumpa, taken during interview on October 8, 2015