China has the second highest global incidence and prevalence of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB). We describe here the life experience of a rural Chinese farmer with complicated and aggressive TB. It is unclear if this patient contracted MDR-TB initially or developed MDR-TB during treatment because the initial laboratory results are dubious. The lack of public awareness of TB in rural China fuelled by a belief in toxicity of TB treatment, as mentioned by his brother, caused the patient to stop his TB treatment repeatedly long before completion. The cost of MDR-TB treatment in China is unaffordable for most Chinese, especially those in rural areas. He paid about ¥300 000 (almost US$50 000) for his TB treatment. He was discharged early twice for ‘financial difficulties’. This case highlights excessive costs, lack of public awareness, poor patient education, inadequate follow-up, lack of coordination between clinical services and the importance of treatment adherence.
- global health
- healthcare improvement and patient safety
- infectious diseases
- tb and other respiratory infections
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Contributors YC and YZ take responsibility for planning, conducting and reporting the work.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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