Andaleeb Rinquest remembers the moment she accepted, with certainty, the imminence of her own death... Lying in a state hospital ward for extensively drug resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB) patients, in the painful final throes of the disease, she looked to her left... There her friend Jolene, similarly weak and skeletal, lay... Jolene’s family were too poor to travel 50 kilometres from Atlantis to Brooklyn Chest Hospital in Ysterplaat, Cape Town, for regular visits... But, on that afternoon in October 2011 Jolene’s mother had come to take her daughter home – to see the family and, if it was to be, to die... Such are experiences a number of XDR-TB patients are sharing in this article including Phumeza Tisile, a former XDR-TB patient, who received intensive treatment for the disease from Doctors Without Borders (MSF).

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