When Nandini arrived at the Doctors Without Borders/ Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) clinic in Bijapur, Chhattisgarh, she was in a terrible state. Still grieving from the loss of her husband, Anand, to tuberculosis (TB) — an infectious killer disease that is ravaging many of India’s poorest communities— this shy and gentle woman was coughing uncontrollably, bone-thin, and delirious with fever.
We immediately tested her—to discover the worst scenario possible. Nandini had developed a multi-drug resistant strain of the disease, one that is hard to treat—and hard to cure. And as nurse supervisor for Doctors Without Borders, I knew that if we didn’t get her on treatment right away, she’d have little chance of survival.
Thanks to the generosity of people like you, Doctors Without Borders has successfully treated thousands of people in India suffering from life-threatening conditions.
Will you show your support for patients like Nandini and become a Doctors Without Borders supporter today?
That is why Doctors Without Borders’ expertise is so crucial. Our doctors, nurses, educators, counselors, and volunteers are extending lifesaving health care—in support of the government’s efforts—in areas where medical facilities are minimal or limited.
Won’t you support our efforts on behalf of India’s poorest and most neglected people today?
As an independent humanitarian medical aid organization, Doctors Without Borders works in more than 70 countries treating the most neglected and the most at risk with the quality medical care they desperately need.
In Nandini’s case, this treatment was a grueling regimen of five kinds of medicines, amounting to 13 pills a day—for two years. We told her to be prepared for some debilitating side-effects. And we told her she was not alone.
Nandini was very grateful for her medicines, but immediately began to suffer from extreme nausea and depression—typical side-effects of TB treatment. Determined to win her battle for life, Nandini moved in with her nephew in Bijapur so she could meet daily with our expert medical experts, who help patients like Nandini complete their lifesaving treatment.
As a nurse supervisor at Doctors Without Borders I have seen hundreds of patients like Nandini. Not only tuberculosis, but kala azar, HIV/AIDS, and malnutrition are devastating the lives of so many people in the remote and vast rural belt of India.
In March of next year, Nandini will have completed her treatment. We expect her to be completely free of tuberculosis, in good health, and ready to move back to her home which is 50 kilometers away.
Meanwhile, Nandini continues to walk to our clinic every single day. She has no children and no family other than her nephew to help her. So the staff and other patients have become family to her, listening to her struggles, helping her take her medicines, dropping her off at her nephew’s home at the end of the day.
We all look forward to the day when Nandini can put down her pill bottles for the last time—and to see the expression on her face when she realises she has finally beaten the disease and been given a chance to live.
This is what your support can bring about
Bibin Joseph Nurse Supervisor Doctors Without Borders Clinic, Bijapur, Chhattisgarh
P.S. Every day, Doctors Without Borders medical teams in India are treating thousands of people just like Nandini whose lives are at risk. Please give generously today – to give people like Nandini a chance at life.