World Tuberculosis Day was just commemorated and we want to share a bit about an amazing man’s fight for health with this disease. Juan Polanco was in denial about his illness for years as he would suffer through his lung congestion and painful coughing spasms while not believing that he had the power to treat it.
“Tuberculosis has changed my life in many ways,” says Juan. “I had to change my daily routines and find another job. The disease made me feel tired. My legs hurt and I was often nauseous.” This was until he became connected with Carmelita, a trained health volunteer through PCI/Mexico’s partnership with government health clinics. Community health volunteers make home visits, observe patient intake of medication and provide support during the course of treatment.
“Thanks to the treatment and advice, I got better soon. PCI’s program has been extremely helpful, especially Carmelita. She makes sure I take my medicine as needed, with daily visits and comforting words. I had actually stopped taking the medicine after 30 days because I felt better. That was before Carmelita helped me out.”
Many individuals, like Juan, simply need that encouragement from someone they trust to continue moving forward with their health. “I really think this type of support is very good. Carmelita cared about my health. She understands what I go through. Now I’m very happy to say that I just took my last dose of treatment and now I am cured!”