Social isolation and severe illness
People suffer with a cough and breathlessness becoming trapped in a vicious cycle; they avoid exercise to avoid breathlessness, they become unfit, weak and unable to work. They become socially isolated, are not allowed to sit at the family table, and unable to earn money and they become malnourished and severely ill.
Their misery is compounded by stigma – the people in their community think they are infectious – and sometimes they feel they are victims of witchcraft.
Sadly there is little or no effective drug treatment available. COPD and post-TB lung damage respond very poorly, if at all, to drugs. And even if drugs are available they are rarely affordable.