Lesedi – South Africa

The name of the child in this story has been changed to protect confidentiality.

In late 2009, Lesedi and his twin sister were born. Their mother had suffered from highly drug-resistant TB during pregnancy and tragically died soon after giving birth. Because their mother had been so ill, the twins had had no contact with her after they were born. Orphaned by TB, their aunt and grandmother cared for them.

In mid-2010, Lesedi was admitted to a hospital with a chest infection. There, after having a suspicious chest X-ray, he was found to have a strain of TB resistant to many of the standard anti-TB drugs. He began treatment for XDR-TB. This involved six months of treatment in the hospital with second-line anti-TB drugs, both oral and injectable. He then received a further year of treatment at home. Fortunately, Lesedi’s sister was well, and was given preventive therapy as an extra precaution. Currently, both Lesedi and his sister are growing and developing well, and are free of TB.

Story Collected by: Simon Schaaf and James Seddon (Desmond Tutu TB Centre)