When Brenda learned she was HIV positive in 2007, she struggled with much more than just agonizing physical pain. The mother of two was also in emotional turmoil, desperately fighting depression.
Home-based care (HBC) volunteers in Mgona learned about her situation and intervened. They began to visit Brenda on a regular basis; cleaning and assisting with chores. As their patient was unable to attend church, they brought church to her. The local pastor accompanied volunteers on their visits to teach and pray with Brenda. They encouraged the bedridden mother to lean on God for strength.
To bolster Brenda’s physical health, they delivered food packs of fortified porridge, soya pieces, salt and sugar and provided Brenda with selenium, a natural immune system booster. The HBC volunteers also ensured Brenda had transport to the local clinic where she receives anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) for her HIV.
HIV positive patients like Brenda are more susceptible to a host of opportunistic illnesses such as malaria and tuberculosis because of their weakened immune system. Through a new partnership with a local doctor, WOW is now able to provide home-based care patients like Brenda with antibiotics.
Brenda is slowly improving. Without the support of local home-based care volunteers she would not be alive today. They are offering the physical, emotional and spiritual support Brenda needs. Soon this mother will have the strength to care and provide for her children. Brenda’s story is no longer one of suffering and death. Hers is a story of hope!