The name of the child in this story has been changed to protect confidentiality.
Riea’s mother, also suffering from alcohol addiction, was diagnosed with TB and began first-line treatment in 2011. She remained culture positive, even after receiving a re-treatment regimen under the close supervision of a health care provider. Riea’s mother was finally diagnosed with DR-TB, but around the time of this diagnosis, she began to default on her treatment and subsequently lost contact with the health care providers.
Riea was diagnosed with DR-TB in 2011 and started on treatment soon thereafter. A neighbor has been caring for her in her mother’s absence. At the start of her treatment, Riea weighed only 12 kg (26.5 lbs), but she has gained 3 kg (6.6 lbs) since her treatment was started. Riea is active and seems to be improving, but she has difficulty producing enough sputum for follow-up testing to determine how her treatment is progressing. Improving care for young children like Riea requires new tools for monitoring treatment response that do not rely on sputum specimens.