“My name is Fikeraddis Abera. I am married and have a two-year-old son. I am a housewife and my husband – the breadwinner – works as a construction worker every day. I was diagnosed with TB four months ago. It changed my life. I was weak and I felt useless. I have no idea how I contracted TB. My husband and son didn’t get it, thank goodness! ”
After Fikeraddis was diagnosed with TB, she now had to walk every day to the center of her hometown, Addis Ababa, to pick up her medicines. A long trip through a lot of crowds. Fortunately, after two months this became a weekly instead of a daily visit.
“Every time I walk to the health center for my medication, I am very careful to avoid contamination with the new coronavirus. I try to be careful for myself and for my son who is going with me. But I have no choice. If I don’t get my medicines, I may not die from corona, but I will die from TB. ”
“Corona and TB turned our house upside down. My husband, who used to earn 150 Birr (less than 4 euros) a day, now has to stay at home because the construction sector is at a standstill. This is a challenge for him. He is a person who is used to leaving the house before 6 a.m. and not returning until around 8 p.m. Now he is angry and miserable by staying at home.”
“The increased stress from my illness and our deteriorating financial position have made this period one of the most difficult of my life. Fortunately, the TB drugs are free. If I stop taking these drugs, I can get the worst form of TB. That’s why I would like to finish the treatment and get well soon. I want to be able to raise my child. And that gives me the courage to be careful and still get my medicines in time.”