Early treatment credited with curing baby of TB
Nurses suspect baby Kgaogelo may have contracted TB from a sick neighbour and family friend. A security guard at the clinic, Kgaogelo’s mother, Refilwe used to pick up and deliver to the man.
Following Kgaogelo’s diagnosis, she was admitted to the Dr George Mukhari Hospital near Ga-Rankuwa for one night of observation, according to Refilwe, who added that the baby was started on a six-month course of treatment the next day.
“I was so frustrated to hear that my baby had TB,” Refilwe remembers. “All I thought about was the an unbearable picture of loosing her.”
But Refilwe says she made sure she followed clinicians’ instructions carefully to ensure her daughter never missed a dose.
Now 15 months old, Kgaogelo is better.
“She is now happy, strong, eating well and no longer coughing,’ said Refilwe, who credited getting Kgaogelo to the clinic early with helping save her baby.
“I will continue to monitor his progress and should there be any medical problems or indication for me to take him to clinic or hospital, I will do that without hesitation,” she told OurHealth. “Medical treatment has proved to be very effective to my baby.”
Children represent as much as 20 percent of TB cases nationally in South Africa, according to a recently released WHO report. The report notes that many health workers still do not feel comfortable diagnosing TB in children, who often have a difficult time coughing up mucous for further testing. For those children who are diagnosed with drug-resistant TB, the report noted a lack of child-friendly treatments available.
Recent mathematical modeling published in international medical journal The Lancet showed that new TB cases among children could be 25 percent higher than previously though amoung high burden countries like South Africa.