Jose – Timore-Leste

Jose, like many teenagers in Timor-Leste, is an avid soccer fan who hopes to learn to play guitar one day. Jose was receiving treatment for TB from a local health care organization. When his condition began to worsen, he went to the only MDR-TB facility in Timor-Leste. Jose was diagnosed with MDR-TB in October 2012. He is receiving free treatment, but struggles to adhere to his treatment because of the horrible side effects of the TB drugs, including blurred vision, ringing in the ears, stomach pains, headache, and vomiting. DST has not yet confirmed Jose’s diagnosis; he is currently waiting for the results of a sputum test, which was sent to Adelaide in Australia for pathology.

Jose has several weeks left of intensive facility-based treatment, and another 12 months of community-based treatment will follow. He is an orphan with no education or job. His nurses worry that once released from the facility and started on community-based treatment, Jose won’t get the proper nutrition required for treatment tolerability, adherence, and ultimately success.

Story Collected by: Joaquim Soares, Klibur Domin Foundation, Timor-Leste