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Improving the health of the population in Romania by increasing TB control

Project financed by the Norwegian Grants 2009 - 2014, within the RO 19 - Public Health Initiative.

Simona (37) is an economist in Bucharest and she was told she has MDR-TB almost two months ago. She has been in hospital ever since.

“I got TB from my brother-in-law, who is also hospitalized here.

It started with pneumonia – I started coughing, so I went to the doctor and he told me I had an untreated pneumonia. I underwent treatment with antibiotics; then the doctor did an X-ray and told me it looked better. I told him I had come for my pneumonia but also because I had a case of TB in the family. He said that if I had had TB, the antibiotic he had given me would not have had any effect.

The next time I came for an X-ray, the doctor told me he had the impression there was something else there, that it was no longer pneumonia. One week later, I got a call from the clinic and I was told to come urgently. The DST had come out with tuberculosis.

I have never been ill, neither have I taken drugs, underwent treatment or been admitted to any hospital. I had a good immune system, I eat healthy, I do not smoke and I do not drink coffee or alcohol. In 37 years, I have never been in hospital. If I felt ill, I would let the system fight on its own, and I would not take drugs.

Sunday before I left for the hospital, I cried a lot. Everything was new for me: from an active and healthy person, suddenly I had to be hospitalized.

At first, it was difficult in the hospital; I would wake up in a state of panic in the morning, when I had to take the medication. I felt fear and rejection inside. It is not easy because there are days when I simply cannot walk and I can barely articulate words. There are days and days…

I have to be strong and take it easy. You need to encourage yourself and learn to do things on your own. Everything starts with you.”