Connie Malebane, a passionate (volunteer), is making a difference in the fight against tuberculosis in her community.
Connie is only 22, but instead of sitting home after completing matric (high school) like many young people do, she joined the Humana South Africa TB Program to teach her community, especially the youth, that they can control TB.
She joined the program in June 2013 and works with 15 other passionates in various villages of Nong, Dipere, Rapadi, Monare, Vianeen, Senita, Nkilikitlana and Sterkwater.
I have seen the impact the program has had in these communities. Unlike before, people are now going to the clinic for sputum tests. In the past, they were unaware of the danger of not getting treatment for TB. Now they understand that TB is curable and that treatment at the clinic is free for the community. They are now informed about how to prevent the disease, as well as what symptoms to look out for. —Connie Malebane
Connie says that because some people in the villages believe in witchcraft, they refused to give their sputum samples to be screened and tested for TB. Because of the program, they now realize the importance of being screened and are now even visiting the clinic on their own.
When the program ends, Connie will continue volunteer. “Because of the program I have gained a lot of knowledge about the disease, as well as learned to respect and be patient when working with people.”