People Living With HIV or AIDS

Sitting in the humid air inside a tent, listening to the palm leaves sway and the support poles creak, and with her hand clasped on her cheek, Zainabu can still hear the words ringing in her head:

“You have been tested positive for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the micro-organism that causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).”

When the doctor announced the results, a mood of gloom and despair descended on Zainabu. She did not know where to go or what to do.

“It seemed like my life and the livelihood of my children had been cut, since they all depended on me.”

Looking for a shoulder to cry on, Zainabu wondered whom to inform or talk to. Her family and the community had no place for HIV-positive people. “I am an abomination,” Zainabu thought to herself.


Continue Reading ›

Fighting Infant Mortality in Tanzania

Martha sits on the chair facing the window, arms crossed, and gives a great sigh of relief.  She looks at her big tummy and realizes that the days have advanced very quickly. Not many days are left before she visits the clinic.

Martha is six months pregnant. She is expecting that perhaps this time she will hold a baby in her hands, and be able to breast-feed it until weaning age. If this happens, the baby will be her first surviving child. Martha has had two pregnancies at an interval of three years, but neither of the children were delivered safely.

She lost her first child through labor complications because she could not reach the maternal clinic early enough to get medical attention. Her second child died a few days after birth because of lack of proper care and medical treatment.

Martha is so alert and aware at this time to do all she can to have her child survive. She cannot withstand the horrible idea of losing her third child after nine months of painful pregnancy. And she wants to be respected and not mocked in the village and in the family of her husband. She hopes the child inside her will reverse this. (more…)

Continue Reading ›