UMCOR / Our Work / Health / Hospitals / Chicuque Hospital / Stories / adelina

Chicuque Rural Hospital Helps a United Methodist Woman Beat Tuberculosis

Adelina Nhantumbo, 36, is gentle and unassuming. A United Methodist, Adelina currently lives next door to her congregation's guesthouse in the rural fishing village of Chicuque, Mozambique. In addition to running her own small business, Adelina is a wife and mother of two young women, Belmina, 20 and Elsidia, 17.

One warm day in March, while living in Maputo, Mozambique's capital, Adelina began to feel ill. In addition to heavy coughing and wheezing, she experienced soreness in her chest and a weakening of her knees. The rapid progression of symptoms almost debilitated Adelina and made her very concerned about her health.

Initially Adelina sought traditional healing methods and counsel. A healer gave her a plant root to boil and drink, assuring Adelina that it would alleviate her symptoms.However, after several months of drinking the tea, Adelina was still sick. Finally, her husband and sister-in-law took her to the Central Hospital in Maputo, where she was diagnosed and treated for Pulmonary Tuberculosis (TB).

TB is a disease that is most commonly spread during coughing, singing, or sneezing. It is a leading cause of disability and death in many developing parts of the world. People of particular risk include those from low socioeconomic backgrounds, residents and staff of long-term care facilities (including jails and prisons), people living in areas with high TB infection rates, and those with particular medical risk factors such as diabetes, HIV, alcoholism and drug abuse. Common symptoms of the first stages of tuberculosis include fatigue, fever, night sweats, and weight loss.

After six months of treatment at Central Hospital, Adelina'a family decided to transfer her to Chicuque Rural Hospital (CRH). Her father was aware of the hospital's well-known reputation for quality care and patient service. He also wanted his daughter to be closer to home as she battled the disease.

Upon her arrival to CRH she was immediately placed in isolation and handed over to the care of Mr. Filmao Guambe, her attending medical clinician. Mr. Guambe is a general nurse at Chicuque, with specialized training to work in CRH's ELAT (Strategy against Tuberculosis and Leprosy) rogram. Mr. Guambe started Adelina on the initial phase of her treatment, which lasted 60 days. He advised her on how to lessen the chance of transmitting the disease to family members. He also invited her to attend a comprehensive health education workshop regularly offered to patients by CRH. Once she had completed the initial phase of treatment, Adelina was released from the hospital. Currently, Adelina is living with her family in Chicuque.

Over the protracted period of her illness, Adelina lost her ability to focus and work on her small crocheting business venture. Before getting sick, she crocheted doilies that she sold to friends and neighbors in her community. The additional income was an important part of the family earnings. Unfortunately, TB made her fingers weak and the cost of care in Maputo had depleted all her financial reserves. It has been a struggle for the family. Adelina's husband, who is a teacher, and sister-in-law have had no choice but to work extra long hours to cover the both family's expenses and Adelina's health care costs.

Today, Adelina is in the process of rebuilding her life, which includes spending many hours at the local United Methodist church. She sells coal in the local markets to raise money for her herself and her daughter and granddaughter in Chicuque. She looks forward to purchasing supplies soon to restart her doily business.

Adelina is deeply appreciative of Mr. Guambe and the quality services she received at CRH. She has completed the final phase of treatment at CRH and has received a clean bill of health.