A mother and daughter's tuberculosis story | Western Cape Government

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A mother and daughter's tuberculosis story

A mother and daughter's tuberculosis story

Erin* is the typical energetic 14 year old school girl with a lust for life. Towards the end of 2017 she developed a nagging cough that would come and go. A very high fever accompanied with headaches landed her in hospital where no conclusive diagnosis of her illness could be made. Her mother Mandy* decided to take her back to their family doctor. This time round he took a sputum specimen and sent it off for a range of tests.

He called Mandy a few days later asking to see her immediately. He informed her that Erin had tuberculosis. A chest x-ray showing a spot on her lung confirmed the doctor’s diagnosis

Their family doctor referred them to the Retreat Community Health Clinic for case management and treatment. Mandy was hesitant because of the reputation Community Health Clinics have. Her doctor assured her that TB is best treated by government healthcare facilities. These facilities are better equipped in terms of their experience in managing the disease and the spread thereof.

Dreading their visit to the day hospital with visions of an overcrowded, unhygienic facility with long queues they went to the Retreat Community Health Centre. Expecting to be met by overworked and unfriendly staff they were pleasantly surprised to find the centre offering world-class quality treatment. The doctors and nursing staff involved with Erin’s treatment were hands-on, caring, empathetic and above all else, extremely professional.

 The facility was clean and well managed. The process was smooth and not time-consuming. They received excellent service from every person involved in Erin’s treatment. The doctors, pharmacists, counsellors and community workers, who did home visits to check if they were adhering to her treatment regimen, were all dedicated to see Erin cured. With the help of the dedicated staff at the day hospital Erin finished her treatment of 6 months, and was cleared in May 2018.

Mandy would like to thank the medical team responsible for Erin’s treatment and that of other TB patients at Retreat Community Health Centre. They are among others;

  • Staff nurse Titus
  • Sister Sparks
  • Counsellor Zubeida
  • Doctor Cole
  • Doctor Mendelsohn

The fight against tuberculosis in the Western Cape is in good hands with these dedicated medical staff at the forefront.

*Names have been changed.

The content on this page was last updated on 1 March 2021