Poverty Hampers Annisa's Tuberculosis Treatment

Annisa, a five-year-old girl, has been suffering from Bone Tuberculosis for a year and a half. As her body becomes very thin, medical treatment is something too expensive for her family.

Poverty Hampers Annisa's Tuberculosis Treatment' photo

ACTNews, BOGOR – Annisa Fitria (5) lives in a meager rented house near Bojong Gede railway station in Bogor Regency with 11 other family members. The rent that they have to pay per month for a house with three rooms and one bathroom is IDR 550,000 excluding the electricity bill.

Annisa is a girl that is diagnosed with bone tuberculosis (TB). She has been suffering from the disease for a year and a half. Now, at the age of 5, Annisa is not like any children her age. She can only lie weakly as her body becomes very skinny.

Patonah, Annisa's mother, said on Friday (6/9) that Annisa was born normally. Until the age of three and a half, Annisa grew up quite healthily. "Until the age of three and a half, Annisa was a healthy girl. What I miss the most is when she calls me 'mama', but now she can barely talk," Patonah remembered.

The initial symptoms of the TB were convulsions. Unfortunately, due to poverty, Annisa’s family only consulted a doctor without being followed by appropriate medical treatments. Although Annisa had undergone medical treatments at a regional public hospital, the treatments were not continued because of the lack of funds.


Patonah herself has no income while her has abandoned her. The rented house is inhabited by 12 people. Because there isn’t much room left, Patonah had to sleep on the porch, while Annisa sleeps inside to protect her from the cold night air.

Annisa's legs are getting thinner and her weight has rapidly decreased. A tube was attached in the girl’s nostrils to her stomach. Patonah said the tube is used to feed Annisa with milk because Annisa’s mouth cannot move. "Annisa only drinks milk, as she can't eat anytying else. The tube is replacedevery two weeks," Patonah said, occasionally wiping her tears.

The tube attached to Annisa's nose is regularly replaced to make sure the tube remains clean and sterile. The tube replacement is done at the regional general hospital and the costs are covered by health insurance. However, Patonah still has to pay for the transportation. Without any income, her child’s treatment is something too expensive for Patonah.

In the rented house, Djohari (50) becomes the head of the household. He is the grandfather of Annisa. Suffering from stroke since five years ago, he can only lie down. Even communicating has become difficult.


Five of Djohari's children including Patonah live in the rented house. Djohari's children and wife work as scavengers and buskers around Bojong Gede. They often sell tissue and plastic bags at the Istiqlal Mosque when there is a big event. The household’s worsening poverty for years has become a major factor of Annisa’s lack of medical treatments.

"Patonah's family's economic condition has not improved from year to year. With limited income, Annisa's bone TB treatment cannot be done optimally. Therefore, we invite generous benefactors to help Annisa recover from bone TB. Since last August until now, we have been accompanying Annisa for her medical treatments. Hopefully Annisa can gradually improve," said Nurjannatunaim as the Coordinator of Mobile Social Rescue (MSR) -ACT, Monday (9/9).

 

Last Friday (9/6), MSR-ACT team visited the Annisa’s house to deliver food packages, nutritional packages, and a wheelchair Annisa and her grandfather, Djohari. The assistance will continue for Annisa and her family. Although The reason is, even though Annisa's medical costs are covered by health insurance, other costs are not covered. The insurance does not even cover all types of treatments.

"We also educated her family because their ignorance about medical and health-related matters will negatively affect the family’s health," Nur explained, Friday (9/6).

In addition to medical assistance, the MSR-ACT team is currently helping with the documentation of Annisa's family. Because of the population record of the family that has not been updated, not all members of the household are covered by the insurance. Online fundraising also continues through www.kitabisa.com/campaign/msrannisa until next Friday (9/13). []

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