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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
Liudmila takes anti-TB drugs from Galina
Liudmila takes anti-TB drugs from Galina

For Sergei and Liudmila, the past year brought them together and it brought a large dose of misfortune. They were diagnosed with drug-susceptible tuberculosis, the stove in their one-room house caught fire, vagrants kept entering through the unlocked door at night, their few clothes were stolen from the outdoor laundry line, and Sergei was injured badly when he fell riding a borrowed bicycle. Through these misfortunes, Galina and Igor of Speranta Terrei have been there, a constant and reassuring presence offering hope.

Sergei and Liudmila met at the TB dispensary in Balti. Sergei was under TB treatment when Galina brought Liudmila, who was homeless at the time, for a TB test. After Sergei broke his hand and leg in the bicycle accident in April, he could no longer go to the TB dispensary. Doctors asked Speranta Terrei’s patient coordinator, Galina, and moderator, Igor, to give Sergei Directly Observed Therapy (DOT) at home. Galina and Igor found Sergei bedridden on a small divan in a decrepit house, without electricity or gas. Sergei was unemployed, having been retrenched from his job at the railway station. He had neither a pasaport (residency document) nor a health insurance card and, therefore, could not get medical care following the bicycle accident.

Galina and Igor, accustomed to poor and addicted patients, knew DOT was only the beginning. Liudmila suffers from alcoholism and Galina must use her characteristic stern touch to ensure Liudmila sticks to TB treatment. The attached photos show Liudmila taking anti-TB drugs from Galina and Galina checking the repaired stove, the only source for cooking and heating. Sergei has been cured of TB, but he cannot walk on his own. He has a pasaport and a health insurance card and can obtain medical care. Liudmila is ineligible for these documents because she is a Russian citizen, though she is eligible for free TB treatment in Moldova. Liudmila eats lunch periodically at Speranta Terrei’s Centre for Tuberculosis Patients (photo) and takes food for Sergei to eat at home. Sergei and Liudmila say Galina’s daily presence has been critical, “She is our protective angel, never abandoning us and showing us how to renew our lives.”   

This month Speranta Terrei introduces its new logo on the Global Giving page! The logo’s designer is John Gravdahl, owner of Propeller Press (http://www.propeller-press.com) and professor at Colorado State University (http://art.colostate.edu/people/profiles/gravdahl/). The logo incorporates elements of traditional Moldovan artistic forms and features a double spiral, symbolizing balance and renewal. John selected the strong red colors to represent energy and the vitality of life.

We thank John for this vibrant logo and all that it represents for our patients and our organization. We thank our donors for their generosity so that we may give TB patients a chance to recover and regain the vitality of life.

Galina checks Sergei & Liudmila's stove
Galina checks Sergei & Liudmila's stove
Liudmila (foreground) eats soup at Centre
Liudmila (foreground) eats soup at Centre
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Ana Eating Soup
Ana Eating Soup

The simple act of sitting down to a bowl of hot soup meant much to Olga and her children, Artiom and Ana. They came to the Centre for Tuberculosis Patients to partake in Speranta Terrei’s Saturday lunch. Speranta Terrei started recently to serve a weekly lunch at its Centre to give sustenance to a few of the TB patients and homeless in our town, Balti.

Olga is a single mother of 5 children, the eldest an 11-year old disabled boy and the youngest a baby of 3 months. She was living in a public garden when Eugenia spotted her and noticed Olga was in a panic. Eugenia helps TB patients with social assistance applications at Speranta Terrei and invited the family to the Centre to discuss their situation and to try to find services for them. Galina, our intrepid homeless coordinator, took Olga for a TB diagnostic test. Eugenia assisted Olga with applications for temporary housing and social assistance. Thankfully, the TB test was negative and Olga is immensely relieved. She and the children have been in contact with people who had TB and Olga says “TB frightens me because I have seen its effects.” 

She says it is hard to express in words the warm feeling of being at a dining table with her children. After they left the Centre, Artiom and Ana asked her, “When are we going back there?” They were happy they could take a box of food with them for their siblings. The attached photos show Olga and Ana at the table and the family waving goodbye in front of the Centre. 

Your donations allow Speranta Terrei to reach those at risk of TB infection and to undertake preventive measures and prophylaxis treatment. In Moldova, as elsewhere, homelessness increases the risk of TB disease and the homeless are among the groups who should be screened for TB.

Many thanks for donating so that Speranta Terrei can fulfill the purpose of its Centre, a place where the vulnerable can find solace. A simple act carries a lot of meaning!

Olga Feeding Ana
Olga Feeding Ana
Family Waving Goodbye After Lunch
Family Waving Goodbye After Lunch
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Igor listens to Cecilia
Igor listens to Cecilia

Tuberculosis disease carries with it the stigma and fear of airborne infection. Patients and former patients are shunned by employers, classmates, and neighbors, even when treatment is effective and they have been cured. Add to such circumstances a spell in prison and the separation from society intensifies. At Speranta Terrei, we counter misconceptions on how TB is transmitted and promote reintegration of tuberculosis patients through raising awareness and through our services.

Igor, who completed treatment for drug-susceptible tuberculosis earlier this year comes regularly to Speranta Terrei’s Centre for Tuberculosis Patients in Balti. The Centre was renovated in part through Global Giving donations. He comes for psychological counseling and to consult representatives of the Documentation Office during a meeting of the TB Club. He follows the conversation with the help of a hearing aid and notes the long list of certificates he must submit to replace the residency permit he lost in prison. The residency permit, called pasaport, is a lifeline for employment, health care, job training, social services, and voting in Moldova. The attached photo shows Igor listening as Cecilia, the head of the Documentation Office in Balti, explains the requirements. Cecilia says she is happy to come to the Centre, “where I can answer questions methodically to a handful of people and simplify the process for those in critical need of a pasaport.” 

Counseling from Speranta Terrei’s psychologist, Valerii, has helped Igor to recover from incarceration and TB. The attached photo shows them at the Centre in May. Igor talks of his love of wood carving. He says, “Working with my hands is healing and a way for me to cope.” With scrap wood donated from a university wood shop, Igor carves religious icons, utensils, and furniture. He says, “I want to carve a figure to decorate the Centre’s entrance, to show my gratitude to Speranta Terrei.” Igor shares his experience with new patients at TB Club meetings and helps them to understand that they can recover as well. We rejoice in his progress from a year ago, when his moderator, Liudmila, was bringing him TB drugs at home (see photo). 

At Speranta Terrei, treatment support is the start of our relationship with patients. We understand there are many sides to tuberculosis and healing takes more than TB drugs. It takes a long-term involvement with patients and thanks to your contributions, we are putting this into practice.

 

Igor talks to Valerii
Igor talks to Valerii
Igor takes TB drugs from Liudmila
Igor takes TB drugs from Liudmila
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Ribbon Cutting
Ribbon Cutting

This year’s World Tuberculosis Day was momentous for Speranta Terrei as we opened the renovated Centre for Tuberculosis Patients in Balti. Every year on March 24, we commemorate World Tuberculosis Day by distributing information about TB symptoms and transmission in Balti and in villages in northern Moldova. This year, we commemorated it by welcoming 70 guests to our newly renovated Centre!

At the ribbon-cutting ceremony (photo attached), Dr. Elena Boleac of the Ministry of Health spoke of the importance of addressing social as well as medical dimensions of tuberculosis disease. The Centre has rooms where patients are given counseling, treatment adherence support, and assistance with documents and where homeless patients can bathe and wash clothes. For Speranta Terrei’s staff, the Centre is a comfortable place to work, conduct meetings, train moderators, and expand services to TB patients. Since the opening in March, 27 TB patients and family members have come to the Centre to participate in group discussions on TB stigma, complications of treatment, and social services available from local government. 

The renovation of the Centre lasted a year and involved extensive repairs, such as replacement of decayed pipes, raising of the ceiling, and completely new heating and ventilation systems. The constructors and Speranta Terrei’s staff went beyond the call of duty to ready the Centre for the opening celebration on World Tuberculosis Day. The attached photos show the guest table laden with traditional Moldovan bread and salt and our special young greeters with bags they presented to guests. TB doctors and public health and city officials at the ceremony agreed with the words printed on the bags, “Împreuna luptam împotriva tuberculozei!”, “Together we fight against tuberculosis!” 

The Centre’s renovation was made possible through a project funded by the German government’s agency GIZ and through donations sent via Global Giving. City Hall Balti allowed Speranta Terrei to establish the Centre in a municipal building adjacent to Family Physicians’ Centre Nr. 1. We are grateful to them and to you for helping us to realize our longstanding goal of a convenient and welcoming place for TB patients and families.

Speranta Terrei is seeking funds to cover operations and maintenance costs of the Centre. New donations through GlobalGiving will be used for this purpose. From our busy Centre, we send thanks in advance for your continuing generosity towards TB patients.

 

Guest Table
Guest Table
Greeting Guests
Greeting Guests
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Iulia helping Petru down the steps
Iulia helping Petru down the steps

Petru is far from Dancu village, but he is not far from the thoughts of his moderator (treatment supporter), Iulia. In an earlier Global Giving report, Speranta Terrei featured Petru and Iulia from Dancu, on the edge of Moldova’s western border with Romania. At the time, Iulia was taking anti-TB drugs to Petru so that he could complete treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). Despite her vigilance, Petru interrupted the ambulatory treatment and is back in hospital. On a recent cold February day, Iulia along with Speranta Terrei’s psychologist, Valeri, made the long trek to Vorniceni MDR-TB Hospital to visit Petru. Vorniceni specializes in treatment of MDR-TB, which requires a longer and more toxic drug regimen than drug-susceptible TB

When Petru realized Iulia was in the visitors area of Vorniceni hospital, he said “Oh, my fairy Godmother is here, the one who tried to save me from this terrible disease.” Iulia visits only infrequently because of the expense and time to ride two buses to travel the 80 kilometers between Dancu and Vorniceni. Her concern for Petru is apparent. She had TB as a child and she continues to counsel him to complete his treatment regimen. 

As with many of Speranta Terrei’s TB patients, alcohol and tobacco are large obstacles between Petru’s illness and recovery. He says he has tried to stop, but slips back into old habits when he is with friends. On the day of the hospital visit, Petru told Iulia he wants to be cured and he has gained weight since returning to hospital in November. His hearing and sight are still weak and he needs help walking down steps. The attached photos show Iulia and Valeri helping Petru down the stairs at Vorniceni hospital and Iulia dispensing her reassuring words. 

Iulia has not given up on Petru. She asks rhetorically, “If I do not help him, who will?” She explained again to Petru how important it was for him to be cured and return to Dancu. In the attached photo, while bidding farewell and shaking hands, Iulia told Petru she will be looking for him soon in Dancu!

Thanks to our donors, Speranta Terrei and our moderators can look for our TB patients to come home cured. 

 

Iulia and Valeri taking Petru for a stroll
Iulia and Valeri taking Petru for a stroll
Petru listening intently to Iulia
Petru listening intently to Iulia
Iulia and Valeri bidding Petru farewell
Iulia and Valeri bidding Petru farewell
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Organization Information

Speranta Terrei

Location: Balti - Moldova, Republic of
Project Leader:
Feodora Rodiucova
Balti, Moldova, Republic of
$138,093 raised of $180,000 goal
 
699 donations
$41,907 to go
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