JOHANNESBURG - Tuberculosis infections are rising in the Northern Cape – with the John Taolo Gaetsewe District topping the list of the patients with Multi Drug Resistant TB.
This strain leaves the patient untreatable.
Extreme poverty and high unemployment are not helping.
Every day Philemon Malinga – head of a community NGO - sees poverty crippling residents.
They can’t get food and medication, and it’s killing them.
“Like we said, if they don’t have money they don’t cannot go buy food and if they don’t, if they are not in a position to buy healthy food they cannot eat healthy. And as a result of that it exacerbates the situation,” said Philemon Malinga, from Hearts of Compassion.
Aida Drinkwater is unemployed.
She survives with only the bare essentials and struggles to make ends meet for her family of seven..
But she’s sick and because she is so poor, she’s neglected her health and caught a strain of incurable TB.
Drinkwater will never heal. But thanks to health workers in her area, she gets all the emotional, spiritual and medicinal support that she can.
Hannah Motlabole works with Hearts of Compassion.
And even though she herself is unemployed and has no transport, she won’t stop helping where she can.
“I know I’m also poor, but I love to help other people, and, especially the sick people. I love them,” said Sannah Motlabole, a Community Worker.
Poverty has led to a dire situation, but with a caring community, trained to help, those who have fallen ill will hopefully not be neglected.