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XDR-TB In Malawi
The Story Of One Small African Village

By Adriana Stuijt
Exclusive to Rense.com

Mrs Eneresi Amini, who died of XDR-TB in the tiny village of Njoho in Malawi, southern Africa in June 2007.


MALAWI, Southern Africa -- The BBC reports that of the 782 schoolgoing children in the tiny Malawian village of Njoho, 256 are TB/Aids-orphans - this total had doubled within five years. Local shopkeeper Lazaro Chitimbe helps out: he adopted four orphans. But not even business is immune to the "terrible-twin" epidemics of Africa: co-infection of Tuberculosis and the human-immune-deficiency virus, which leads to their death from extremely-drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) means that business at his shop is 50% down this year. "Families don't have money to spend like they used to. All their extra cash goes on medicine or funerals.

Sister Josephine of the nearby Nsanama Convent has convinced local chiefs to donate plots of land so families can grow their own food. Dorothy Yasin, 51, whose husband died of 'tuberculosis" in 2003, has three grandchildren to support and with the harvest destroyed by drought, she now sells firewood to pay for maize. "I took the HIV test but was too afraid to ever collect the results," she says. "I tell my children not to mess around. HIV/Aids is killing this village."

And when photographed by the BBC in June 2007, one shunned villager, Mrs Eneresi Amini, suffered from oral thrush and could not speak without pain. She had never taken an HIV test but her obvious symptoms made the test all but superfluous. Housebound on the outskirts of Njoho and living with her sister, Mrs Eneresi was suffering her second bout of tuberculosis within eight months. Eneresi's husband divorced her soon after she was diagnosed. Shunned by her neighbours, she relied on World Food Programme food aid. One week after this picture was taken for the BBC, Eneresi passed away.

LINK: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/picture_gallery/



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