TB is a serious issue that till this day takes the lives of a million people each year. And, although modern medicine exist that can treat the disease, many countries continue to use older alternatives that have negative side effects on the patient.
Meet South African teenager Khumbulani Shandu, who went deaf after toxic TB medicine was used on him rather than the new, safer treatments.
David McKenzie, a CNN correspondent, posted Shandu’s story on his Twitter account.
“Thread: This is Khumbulani Shandu and his mother from South Africa. Toxic TB drugs made him deaf. Newer drugs have been available for years. But Khumbulani got given injectable antibiotics that make up to 60 percent of TB patients deaf”, he captioned.
For a long time, Shandu could not hear, but an anonymous donor helped him get a cochlea implant. The implant enabled Shandu to hear again, but he is only one of the ‘lucky’ ones.
According to McKenzie’s posts, “drug companies don't want to spend the money to develop drugs for diseases like TB and they can't fully clear drugs without making sure they are safe.”
Phumize Tisile is another patient like Shandu- her TB treatment left her deaf for five-years before she raised enough money for the implant.
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