Doctor de Leon and anti-TB drug resistance

A personal story for the World TB Day (24 March 2010)
Doctor de Leon is a Mexican paediatrician who has dedicated her life to saving other people's lives particularly the youngest and most vulnerable of any society - the children. Nine months ago, she developed a cough that her colleagues diagnosed as an allergy. Overall, her health was deteriorating, she lost weight day-by-day despite her efforts to nourish herself the best that she could. Since she was not feeling well, she ordered the sputum smear exams for herself, and they came back positive. Read more

She started TB treatment but her sputum smears and her health status did not improve and after six months of anti-TB treatment, a first-line drugs sensitivity test (DST) result came back positive for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB).

On 22 March 2010, two days before the World TB Day, Dr de Leon was admitted to a specialty hospital in Mexico City with haemoptysis, weight of 99 pounds and a chest x-ray which showed 10mm cavities.

On the World TB Day 2010, and every day for that matter, Dr de Leon could be providing care to patients affected by tuberculosis or attending the different events planned for this day in the country. Instead, she is a patient in isolation, waiting and hoping that her TB status is not extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB).

Dr de Leon wants to be cured and will continue her fight to live, not only for herself and her mission in life but also to be able to see her two young children, three and four years old, grow up.

Alberto Colorado - CNS

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Citizen News Service (CNS), India/Thailand
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