Saturday, December 3, 2011
naresh baiga, 10 years old, with tuberculosis of the foot and leg bones, was unable to stand when he first was brought to our clinic at bamhni. fortunately he has responded well to treatment.
when we visited bahoud last week, i went to his house to see how he was doing. we found him in the street, playing in the dirt with his friends.
choitram baiga, 38, however, has not been so lucky. he has multi-drug resistant tuberculosis, and continues to be unwell in spite of over a year of treatment. he is being provided with what are called second-line anti-TB drugs, which are expensive, and need to be given for a longer period of time than the usual course of medication.
earlier this year he had sold his few his goats and pigs to raise Rs. 6000 in order to hire a tractor to help till the 5 acres of land he has been given here at new bahoud. in spite of that, the rice yield has been poor, and will last his family of 8 for three months. the BPL rice does not last the entire month for the family. the oldest son, 18, works and keeps enough money aside to buy a kilo of arhar daal every fortnight for his father.
choitram's main worry now is how his family will survive this coming year. he is now unable to walk and drags himself around on the ground once someone helps him off the bed.
tuberculosis continues to be a serious and widespread problem in rural india. this small village of bahoud has three patients with severe forms of tuberculosis. the risk of death due to TB increases as the body mass index of the patient reduces. that means that a malnourished person is more likely to die of tuberculosis than a well-nourished patient is.