Fighting TB requires commitment; Gebard

23 Mar 2017 16:10pm
WINDHOEK, 23 MAR (NAMPA) – The presence of a parental figure should not be taken for granted, particularly when being a Tuberculosis (TB) patient, said Ndilimeke Gebard, a survivor of the deadly disease.
She delivered her testimony at the Okuryangava clinic on Wednesday during a media briefing on the ‘Challenge TB’ project by the Embassy of the United States of America in Namibia.
Gebard said she was at first hesitant to go for the TB test, completely out of fear, but her mother encouraged her to go for the test.
“I managed to fight TB with the help of my mother.”
The 26-year-old woman had the test in February 2016, following drastic changes in her body.
“I could feel I am not feeling well and I had lost a lot of weight, but I was reluctant to go for a test.”
Her mother encouraged her to seek medical assistance as she had lost weight and was coughing for more than three weeks.
Gebard said the morale boost and support from her mother convinced her to be tested and go on treatment immediately.
A month later, her 18-month-old son was also diagnosed with TB and as a mother, Gebard said it was difficult to accept that she had infected her child with the deadly disease, but those feelings eventually transformed into a motivating factor for her to complete treatment with her son.
Gebard said they received their medication every day of the week at the clinic and received enough medication for the two days when the clinic is closed over weekends.
She said combatting TB also requires changes in a patient’s lifestyle.
“I stopped drinking alcohol completely and dedicated myself to my treatment together with my child.”
Both Gebard and her son tested TB free last month.
She noted that had it not been for her mother’s support, she would probably not be alive today.
Gebard, who is self-employed selling kapana and fatcakes, urged Namibians on treatment for any disease to not give up.
“Take your treatment seriously as there is hope of living if you are serious with your treatment.”
She extended her gratitude to the Namibian and US government for working together to address TB in the country by providing TB screening and medication.