When Umida Djumaniyazov was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB), her world fell apart.
“When I was told I had TB I was so ashamed that I didn’t want to go for treatment,“ says Umida, 28, from Dashoguz in northern Turkmenistan. “I didn’t even want to live. I tried to stay away from people because I thought that they would all get sick too.”
Umida’s husband was worried by her behaviour and decided to speak to a Red Crescent nurse by himself. Together they persuaded her to go for treatment.
“At first my other relatives kept their distance but now things are okay,” she says.
Six months later, Umida is a smiling, energetic woman with plenty of plans for her future and the future of her two small children.
She has been supported through her treatment by a Red Crescent nurse. The Red Crescent works in close collaboration with the Turkmenistan Department of Health and is an important part of the government’s plan to combat TB. Every weekday morning, Red Crescent nurses get to work in three state-run TB clinics, in Ashgabat, Mary and Dashoguz.
Umida’s nurse in Dashoguz ensures she takes her medication, encourages and motivates her, and gives her a shoulder to cry on.
The emotional and psychological support provided to those attending the clinic is one of the most important functions that Red Crescent nurses can play in helping people down the road to better health.
“I can’t stress strongly enough what a great support the Red Crescent has been to me,” says Umida. “They have lifted my spirits and re-sparked my interest in life.”
Find out about TB in Turkmenistan