Thida's Journey to Recovery
In a distant ward of Shwe Pyi Thar's outskirt area right in front of the school, the house with a sign saying "call 09xxx for Laundry" is a little hut where Thida lives in. The house with broken floorboards and sunlight barely breaking into the rooms has a cradle hanging from the ceiling with a baby sleeping inside.
"While I was sick in bed, my husband left me with an excuse saying he was going to work and never returned home. Now I'm ok even if he's not around anymore. I have determined that I will try to stay healthy, work by myself, and survive with my child." said Thida with tears in her eyes. Thida, a 17-year-old girl, had to drop out of school because she got pregnant at a young age with her husband. She got infected with Tuberculosis and felt ill when her husband left her and their two-year-old baby boy.
At first, when Thida felt sick, her family decided not to do proper medical checkups out of fear of discrimination from society and the lack of health knowledge. Thida was lying weak in bed and depressed for months taking traditional medicines and hoping she would recover soon.
Thida's news spread as a rumor around her environment, reaching Ei Ei, Save the Children's partner case worker. As soon as Ei Ei heard that news, she decided to find Thida's house and convince the family to do a proper medical checkup for Thida. Ei Ei said, "Thida was lying in bed with a pale face and a sad look. Her mother told me that Thida had just diarrhea, so they gave her the traditional medicine, and she also had asthma when she was young. We encouraged her mother to provide Thida with a proper medical checkup and treatment."
Ei Ei had to go through a hard time convincing Thida's family. Thida was ready to give up her life from the fear of the shame that might fall upon the family if the blood test result were demeaning to her in society.
With the help of Save the Children and the ward leader, Ei Ei worked hard to convince the family and Thida to go to the partner clinic for proper checkups and to find the root cause for treatment. After Ei Ei's couple of visits to their home, Thida's family managed to send Thida for a medical checkup and treatment.
Thida recalled her memories "When I was sick, I thought that it was just a cough, so I stayed home and took a rest. But Ma Ei Ei told me that my condition didn't look too good and encouraged me to go to the clinic for a checkup, but I refused and rejected their help at first."
After the medical checkup, Thida and the family realized that she had Tuberculosis. With cash support and nutrition packs from Save the Children, Thida's family helped her get through the treatment properly and recover.
"Before I got the treatment, I couldn't even walk. I put a barricade around my bed because I was scared it might infect my son. I received not just money for my treatment but also nutritious food like eggs, quality rice and oil from Save the Children. I hope high for my son. I couldn't finish my education, but I want him to. I want him to pursue the dream of his liking and succeed. I will try to find a job in a garment factory when I can work again and support him," Thida said with great hope and a smile.
As a caseworker, Ei Ei was motivated to see Thida's recovery after getting proper medication. Ei Ei said, "Thida is a lot better, and she even goes outside sometimes. I saw her again after two months of medication, and she heartfeltly said, "thank you" to me with full of her expressions in her eyes. I have learned not to give up easily and keep my motivation to try my best for the children in my line of work. I feel a lot of joy being able to help Thida."