Among the many risks children face in Myanmar, tuberculosis is one that develops slowly and often unnoticed by parents and teachers. Fortunately for seven-year-old first grader, Lin Lae Cho is seven, who lives in a village in the far southwest of the Ayeyarwaddy River delta, her TB was detected when her parents started to notice that their normally active and happy was unwell with a fever and coughing. When they saw blood from her cough and realized she was not breathing normally, they took her to see a nearby doctor, who ordered an immediate chest X-ray to confirm a TB diagnosis.
Lin Lae Cho’s parents are poor; her father is the only wage earner and his work as a day laborer is barely enough for them to get by each day. So, they had no idea how they would pay the costs of traveling back and forth – an hour by motorcycle each way – to the TB department of the regional hospital for six months’ treatment. When they learned that CWS supported treatment for TB patients by paying for travel costs plus nutritious food, multivitamin supplements and hygiene supplies, they were relieved – and, of course, thankful that their only child was able to get treatment, beat her TB, return to school and, most important of all, being her active, happy self.
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