Monday, 16 June 2014


Over recent months, I have been in contact with a young woman who became a close friend to my daughters.

For many months, I had suggested she go for a TB test as she was losing weight and coughing. She said she had tested negative

She did not go for a test until the early months of 2014. She tested positive. But she did not seem to be taking her TB medicine. Her mother said they could not afford the medicine.

I went to the Port Moresby General Hospital and obtained boxes of medicine Rifampicin and Isoniazid which I gave to the young woman with doctor’s advice on treatment.

But she sent a text a week later to say that her mother had thrown the medicine away. She said that her daughter was to take only herbs.

Each week, I would take her a plastic full of fruit, peanuts and flavoured milk. She looked sick with much loss of weight. Among the fruit would be sheets of Rifampicin and Isoniazid. She texted again. Please click:

I suggested to her that she stays with my family. At the time, I was suffering deep chest pains and finding difficulty in walking up the slope to her house. So the young woman told me that if I am counting the cost, I should not come.

Twice I have brought food to build her up from her skeletal frame. The last time the mother was hostile and told me that her daughter is tricking me and not taking the TB medicine. She was taking herbs instead.

I fear for the life of this young woman if she is either not taking the medicine at all or has stopped taking the drugs once started.

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