A TB Survivor’s Tale in Indonesia

It has been a long road back to good health, but 19-year-old Afghan refugee Ghulam Abbas is appreciative of the support he has received.

“For the first three months after I was diagnosed I felt helpless. I was so weak from the tuberculosis in my lungs and abdomen I didn’t think I’d ever be healthy again. It was really hard especially when I was moved from Manado to Makassar after the first couple of months.

I was sad all day long and the pain in my abdomen was really bad.

Slowly I started to feel better and I was able to find things to keep me interested and busy like cooking and cycling around the neighborhood where we are living. I received a lot of support from friends here and IOM to make sure I kept taking the medication because that is so important."

I’ve completed 12 months on the medication and I’ve started to gain back some of the weight I lost; I’m really happy with the treatment and I’ve even joined a gym!

If I had one piece of advice to others suffering from tuberculosis, it would be to follow your doctor’s instructions, take all your medicine on time, and try and make sure you eat nutritious food.