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Panganai’s Story of #TBCourage

Panganai lives in Johannesburg with his family and young children. He was diagnosed with multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in 2019. This is his story of #TBCourage.

“Before I had TB, I was able to fit myself in anywhere, in any situation. My life was normal, I could go to work, I could do anything.” Panganai’s life changed in the Winter of 2019, when he “started coughing, and thought maybe it was the flu.” He said stopped meeting up with friends and doing things because he was constantly coughing.

After deciding to visit the clinic, he was diagnosed with TB. “When I heard that this was multidrug-resistant, I was very confused,” and he said, “I did not know how I was going to survive.” Panganai was first put on a long regimen of TB drugs and was “taking 32 tablets every day.” He then joined a clinical trial testing a three-drug, all-oral, six-month regimen, but Panganai said, “When I started this treatment, I was doubting it, because it reduced 32 tablets to 7 tablets—I was doubting. But I said, ‘Let me just take it.’ And when I took it, my health was improving each and every day.”

“For those people who have TB,” Panganai suggests that “they must take their treatment every day. If you suspect that you have TB, don’t guess. Just go to the health centers and get treatment.” He also said that “for those with TB, TB can be treated. Do not default your treatment. Do not neglect your treatment. This is not a lifetime thing. TB can be treated because I’ve seen it with myself. I no longer have TB.”

Now, more than one year after the end of his treatment, Panganai is back home with his family and is back to work. “Now I feel as healthy as before. My life has gone back to normal.”