Sabir's TB school visit

Meet Sabir. He is 14 years old and lives in Surat, India. He loves studying and competed in the national Science Olympiad. He found out he had TB only after learning about the disease during a school visit by doctors.

One day, Sabir remembers, “I started feeling giddy and then I had fever, I lost my appetite and I was coughing a lot.” He went to a private physician, who gave him medicine that didn’t help, and subsequently saw four other doctors – but no one mentioned TB. “We thought that he was suffering from chikungunya. We thought he may have dengue or malaria or something similar,” his aunt explained. Finally, Sabir said, “doctors visited our school and said that if you have these symptoms then you should get a test done for TB” – and after 22 days of suffering and uncertainty, Sabir tested positive for TB.

Sabir was able to get tested for TB with the WHO-endorsed Xpert MTB/Rif (Xpert) assay, co-developed by FIND, Rutgers University and Cepheid. Xpert runs off the GeneXpert platform and is able to diagnose TB in children with high sensitivity through testing samples other than sputum – which children often cannot produce.