CHENNAI: There are two MSF experiences which Dr Aravind says will stay with him. The first was when he was in South Sudan, a country where most people lived in huts with mud walls and no electricity.
One of the patients was a small six-year-old who did not speak, no matter how much interpreters tried. He was malnourished, but Dr Aravind was sure it was something more. Probing into his background, Aravind found that he had actually belonged to another tribe and had somehow ended up with adoptive parents from the enemy tribe – and since tribes spoke different languages, he was not able to communicate. “Treating him for suspected TB and seeing him gain weight and run around as a healthy child is something I will cherish,” smiles Aravind.
In Tajikistan, a two-year-old was suspected of having TB. Knowing that the child’s mother also had drug resistant TB and a similar strain of the disease could also be passed on to the child, he was treated with anti TB drugs and a complicated cardiothoracic surgery. “And now, he’s a healthy kid on his way to a normal life, beams Aravind.