السل والفيروس المسبب لمرض الإيدز: توليفة من الجحيم

كانت فاطمة التي تقيم في غرب تنزانيا بالقرب من بحيرة طنجنيقة تعاني منذ أكثر من شهر من سعال جاف حاد. وهي ترتعد حين تفكر أن هذا السعال قد يعني أنها مصابة بمرض السل. وتدرك فاطمة أنها تستطيع أن تتأكد إن كانت مصابة أم لا، وإذا لزم الأمر، تستطيع أن تتلقى العلاج في أقرب مركز صحي، على مسافة تقطعها الحافلة في ساعة واحدة. وكانت تفكر في أن تطلب من زوجها أجرة الحافلة (حوالي 60 يورو) لكنها قررت ألا تفعل، فهي تحتاج إلى هذا المال لإطعام أطفالها. فضلاً عن ذلك فإنها تخشى إذا ما أثبتت التحاليل أنها مصابة بمرض السل أن يفترض زوجها وكل جيرانها أنها مصابة أيضاً بمرض الإيدز.

كنا قد أجرينا العديد من المقابلات مع أشخاص يعيشون بمرض السل في تنزانيا ونيجيريا، والحقيقة أن مخاوف فاطمة ليست فريدة من نوعها. ذلك أن المصابين بمرض السل عادة ما يكللون بالخزي في الدول الواقعة إلى الجنوب من الصحراء الكبرى في أفريقيا، فالجهل بالمعلومات الدقيقة حول هذا المرض منتشر هناك بصورة كبيرة.

وهذه الحقائق تمنع الناس الذين يعتقدون أنهم مصابون بمرض السل من السعي إلى العلاج. وفي العديد من المناطق ـ وبصورة خاصة في المناطق الريفية ـ ما زال الناس يعتقدون أن مرضى السل إما تعرضوا لسحر ما، أو سمموا، أو طبقاً لتعبير أحد الأطباء النيجيريين "لعنتهم الآلهة".

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