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 Wednesday 16 June 2010
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Musa Njoko, "What made me really mad was the failure to diagnose my TB in good time"
June 2010 (PlusNews)

Photo: Musa Njoko
Musa was one of the first women to publicly disclose her HIV-positive status in South Africa
DURBAN, Musa "Queen" Njoko is a well-known South African gospel singer and motivational speaker, running her own successful business. She was also one of the first women to publicly disclose her HIV-positive status. Njoko spoke to IRIN/PlusNews at the South African TB Conference in the port city of Durban about one of her two bouts with TB, and how late diagnosis put her life at risk.

"In 2002 I was hit with the reality of living with HIV opportunistic infections when I was diagnosed with bone-marrow TB. As much as this was devastating, what made me really mad was the failure to diagnose my TB in good time.

"For a full three months I kept going to the hospital, telling [healthcare workers] that I suspected I had TB. I gave them all the symptoms I had observed but only chest x-rays were done, which came back clear. No further investigations were done until my body began to crumble. [By that time] I had lost so much weight, [I went from] 56kg to 36kg.

"I was eventually hospitalised and went through a barrage of tests – only then was it discovered that I had bone-marrow TB. That failure to diagnose me early enough put me in a wheelchair for over ten months.

"I think, even to this day, of how many vulnerable lives have been lost to TB because of this carelessness and lack of proper investigation."



[The above testimony is provided by IRIN, a humanitarian news service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations.]

IRIN welcomes editorial and photographic submissions for inclusion on this page, reserving the right to select and edit as appropriate.
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This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.