Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova

by Speranta Terrei
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Support 150 Tuberculosis Patients in Moldova
Angela Walks to Veaceslav's Apartment
Angela Walks to Veaceslav's Apartment

Veaceslav has stopped and restarted treatment for tuberculosis (TB) many times over a decade. “This time,” he says, “I am on my final run”.  Drug abuse interfered each time he started TB treatment, his addiction outlasting his will to be cured. Drug abuse led to prison and it was in prison he was diagnosed again with TB as well as HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) co-infection. In 2019, out of prison, he consulted a family doctor who sent him for a TB diagnostic test. The result of the Gene X-pert test showed he had multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and additional tests showed not only his lungs, but his kidneys and bladder were affected. 

When staff at the Balti TB dispensary noted that kidney and leg pain made walking difficult for Veaceslav, they requested a treatment supporter (moderator) from Speranta Terrei to take medication to him at home. Angela has been his moderator since last August, giving him Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) daily, consisting of 6 anti-TB drugs. When he told Angela he felt side effects, sleeplessness and achy muscles and limbs, she arranged an appointment with his TB doctor. After his doctor adjusted the drug regimen in January, his side effects eased and Veaceslav felt more able to continue treatment. He expresses his respect for Angela, saying, “her support gives me strength, I will keep taking TB medicine”.

When drug abuse was consuming him, Veaceslav’s family life fell apart and his wife and child left him. He lives with his mother, Maria, who tends to him and he shows her he is grateful. Angela says, “I like to visit Veaceslav and Maria. We talk openly about the twists and turns of life and he regrets especially he lost his family. He is determined to overcome addiction and TB.”

Veaceslav and his mother and all of us at Speranta Terrei thank you, our GlobalGiving donors, for supporting TB patients who need us the most.

 

Angela Explains Side Effects to Veaceslav
Angela Explains Side Effects to Veaceslav
Angela Gives Pills to Veaceslav
Angela Gives Pills to Veaceslav
Veaceslav Drinks Pills
Veaceslav Drinks Pills
Veaceslav Speaks of His Past
Veaceslav Speaks of His Past
Veaceslav Embraces His Mother
Veaceslav Embraces His Mother
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Pasa, Dan & Family Welcome Galina
Pasa, Dan & Family Welcome Galina

Speranta Terrei’s long-time treatment supporter, Galina, sees joy and pain in an afternoon of home visits to tuberculosis (TB) patients in Balti. On a recent day in October, Galina looked in on two children who completed prophylaxis treatment; gave their grandmother who has drug-susceptible TB her daily regimen of drugs; and gave a paralyzed multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) patient his daily regimen of drugs. At each stop, she showed her distinctive blend of empathy and firmness towards her charges, who welcomed her presence and her words of advice. 

Her first stop was to see how one-year old Dan and his two-year old brother, Pasa, were faring a month after their treatment ended and they had a final x-ray. The boys live with their father, Ruslan, mother, Ina, and other family in a decrepit apartment with no running water, electricity, or heat. Galina says, “Dan and Pasa gladly took the drugs, they held out their little hands for the spoon where I put their half-pill dose.” Dan was all smiles when he saw Galina. She said it was not easy to find the family. When the TB dispensary doctor requested Galina to give them Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) as contacts of their grandmother, the family had moved. Galina had to sleuth around Balti to find them. Having been a treatment supporter (moderator) for 13 years with Speranta Terrei, Galina can find her way to any needy TB patient in Balti.

Her second stop was the grandmother, Rosalina, who had TB 15 years ago and then was diagnosed again last autumn. She fell ill one night, had difficulty breathing, and was taken in an ambulance to the hospital. Rosalina says, “I was in the hospital for 3 months, I had pills, injections, and infusions and then the doctor said to me, you have TB.” Rosalina praised Galina for her steadfast help, referring to her as Mama Gala. On top of TB, Rosalina has severe tooth decay. Because of intense tooth pain and lack of money for dental treatment, she extracted her own teeth and damaged her mouth and face while doing this.

Galina’s third stop was Mihail, who had interrupted treatment 4 years ago when he was diagnosed with TB the first time. Last year, he was hospitalized following a stroke and this time the diagnosis was the more serious form, MDR-TB. He was sent to Vorniceni, the specialized MDR-TB hospital in Moldova, for 8 months. Since he returned to Balti in March, Galina has been bringing him anti-TB drugs. His current regimen consists of 7 pills and 2 powders and Galina mixes the powder with water and Mihail takes the cup with his usable left hand. He did not have rehabilitation therapy after the stroke and the right side of his body is paralyzed. He says, “my brother comes to help me and brings me food.” His brother had a TB test and, thankfully, the result was negative.

As she was leaving Mihail’s house, Galina was still smiling. She says, “Yes, I see a lot of need. If Dan, Pasa, Rosalina, and Mihail beat TB, then I will have done my part.” Speranta Terrei is able to send out Galina on her rounds of TB patients thanks to your donations. We wish you, our donors, a Happy New Year, Un An Nou Fericit!

Dan Greets Galina
Dan Greets Galina
Rosalina Takes Pills from Galina
Rosalina Takes Pills from Galina
Rosalina Extracted Her Own Teeth
Rosalina Extracted Her Own Teeth
Mihail Takes Diluted Powder from Galina
Mihail Takes Diluted Powder from Galina
Galina Still Smiling
Galina Still Smiling
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Nelli's Roof Needs Repair
Nelli's Roof Needs Repair

Tuberculosis is only one of Nelli’s daily concerns. Her roof is in danger of collapse and her meagre pension is insufficient for food, let alone a costly roof repair. Nelli has multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and spent three months at Vorniceni, the specialized MDR-TB hospital in Moldova. When she returned to Balti to continue ambulatory treatment, Speranta Terrei offered her counseling and treatment support. 

Speranta Terrei’s social assistant, Viorica, helped Nelli to write a form to request assistance from Balti municipality to repair her roof. Nelli says, “My roof is falling, rain drips through holes, I am worried with autumn and winter coming.” Nelli is a widow, her husband died 10 years ago and she lives alone. TB and a poor diet have led to fragile health and she fears a cold, damp winter will make it worse. Nelli comes twice per week to Speranta Terrei’s Centre for Tuberculosis Patients for psychological counseling. The doctor at Balti TB dispensary asked Speranta Terrei to assist because Nelli did not want to continue the two-year regimen of anti-TB drugs with their attendant side effects. Because of the resistance pattern of the particular strain of TB she has, Nelli cannot take first-line drugs and even some second-line drugs. She says of counseling, “it made me more confident, I understood I could be cured if I finished treatment.” Eduard, her counselor, has sensed her willingness to persevere grow since she began counseling two months ago.

Nelli’s neighbor, Oleg, and his wife watch over her, but their living conditions are similar. Oleg and his wife have a daughter who left long ago to work in Russia, as have many other Moldovans facing dire economic prospects at home. Oleg was treated for TB in prison 15 years ago and last year he was diagnosed with MDR-TB. Oleg and Nelli go together to Speranta Terrei’s Centre to speak to counselors and to apply for social assistance. Speranta Terrei’s treatment supporter (moderator), Alexandra, visits them at home to give Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) and to encourage them to continue treatment. 

Nelli, Oleg, and the rest of us at Speranta Terrei thank you for contributing towards support for vulnerable TB patients. Our counselors, moderators, and social assistants strengthen patients’ resolve to be cured and try to allay their concerns. Speranta Terrei’s own Centre was damaged from heavy rains in June. A renovation company has started repairs and plans to finish before the onset of cold weather. We will keep helping Nelli to find a way to repair her roof and to finish treatment.

 

Eduard Counsels Nelli
Eduard Counsels Nelli
Nelli Takes Anti-TB Drugs as Alexandra Observes
Nelli Takes Anti-TB Drugs as Alexandra Observes
Hard for Nelli to Get Pills Down
Hard for Nelli to Get Pills Down
Oleg Takes Anti-TB Drugs
Oleg Takes Anti-TB Drugs
Viorica & Alexandra Review Oleg's Documents
Viorica & Alexandra Review Oleg's Documents
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Stroll to Park with Liudmila
Stroll to Park with Liudmila

Thanks to our regular GlobalGiving donors, Speranta Terrei can count on giving treatment support to tuberculosis patients from start to finish. We are especially grateful to donors who give every month to our programs.

A year ago, we reported on nine-year old Vladislav, who was undergoing lengthy treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). Now a year later, we are pleased to report ten-year old Vladislav will complete TB treatment at the end of June. Last September, he was able to return to school. 

After his doctors adjusted his treatment regimen and the painful injection part of the regimen concluded, Vladislav started to feel fewer side effects. He no longer vomited or felt dizzy after taking medication. His doctors said he could be given medication at home and his daily visits to the TB dispensary could end. Speranta Terrei replaced his moderator Angela with Liudmila, who was able to take anti-TB drugs to his home for Directly Observed Therapy (DOT).

At the beginning of the last school term, Vladislav returned to the same school he had attended before he had MDR-TB. He recently graduated the third form. Although he is happy to return to school, he can sense his classmates are afraid to be near him. Some even say offensive words. Vladislav knows studies are important and he wants to be in school. He says, “I want them to forget I had TB and treat me normally.” Vladislav is not infectious, but TB carries a heavy stigma for patients in Moldova and people avoid them from fear of being infected.

Fortunately, Vladislav has friends in his neighborhood and often plays with them. He likes active games, games full of running and jumping, and this is how he broke his right arm. Seeing Vladislav brimming with energy, Liudmila took him to a park to play after a recent DOT visit (photos). 

Liudmila says, “Vladislav is close to my son’s age and they became friends. We are so happy he withstood treatment and recovered from MDR-TB.”

 

Should I Go Up?
Should I Go Up?
Vladislav on Swing
Vladislav on Swing
One-Handed Push
One-Handed Push
Liudmila Gives Vladislav a Whirl
Liudmila Gives Vladislav a Whirl
I Conquered TB
I Conquered TB
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Ladling Borscht
Ladling Borscht

Donations through GlobalGiving are critical for our Centre for Tuberculosis Patients to remain open through the winter. Speranta Terrei economizes and watches the thermostat, but heat, electricity, and water expenses have soared in recent months. Since December, our staff has been preparing and serving hot lunch to homeless persons at our Centre three times per week. This supports Speranta Terrei’s program of active case finding for tuberculosis among the homeless, a group at high risk for contracting TB. “We screen them for symptoms and take them for diagnostic tests at the TB dispensary”, explains Galina, who has a special rapport with the homeless of Balti after 12 years of conducting outreach among them. She finds them near garbage bins and outside churches, where they scavenge for food and clothing to ward off the cold.

Galina asks them as well about their acquaintances, if any of them have persistent cough or fever, if they need to be examined. When a homeless person is diagnosed with TB, Galina and other Speranta Terrei moderators (treatment supporters) give them Directly Observed Therapy (DOT), bringing medicine from the TB dispensary and observing them ingest it. 

On a cold February day, homeless persons who had undergone TB control to rule out infectiousness came to Speranta Terrei’s Centre for Tuberculosis Patients to warm up and fill up with steaming borscht and pelimeni (photos). The Moldovan soup and dumplings served at a dining table were a rare respite from scavenging for food. Alexandr (in photo) said, “To smell and eat fresh food you made, we thank you. These are the only hot meals we eat and we have not eaten so well for a long time.” The homeless related stories of being evicted from apartments or returning from a stint of migrant labor in other countries to find their family and house were no longer theirs. Some of the homeless stay temporarily in an overnight shelter called Reintoarcere, others are constantly out in the cold, on the street.  

After lunch, Speranta Terrei’s president, Dora, talked to them about how to prevent TB transmission and where and how to consult a doctor if they develop TB symptoms. The vice mayor of Balti, Mr. Smulschii, has expressed his appreciation to Speranta Terrei for controlling TB among the homeless. He said homeless citizens have told him, “the hot lunches make a big difference in our lives”.

Speranta Terrei’s staff are grateful for your contribution to the operation of our Centre. This Centre is a place to combat TB and to offer the homeless a hot lunch on a cold day.

 

Boiling Pelimeni
Boiling Pelimeni
Alexandr Eating Borscht with Cream
Alexandr Eating Borscht with Cream
Mircea & Serghei Eating Borscht and Bread
Mircea & Serghei Eating Borscht and Bread
Galina Serving Pelimeni to Stepan & Alexandr
Galina Serving Pelimeni to Stepan & Alexandr
Galina & Dora in Centre's Kitchen
Galina & Dora in Centre's Kitchen
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Organization Information

Speranta Terrei

Location: Balti - Moldova, Republic of
Project Leader:
Feodora Rodiucova
Balti, Moldova, Republic of
$119,669 raised of $135,000 goal
 
586 donations
$15,331 to go
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