A new morning arising in South Africa

It is eight o’clock and we are “on our wheels” in direction of a community health center called Kabokweni. It’s quite cold in the mornings, but the sun is getting warmer minute by minute. Excited to meet “this new day”!

HIV is a huge problem in this country, especially in the rural areas. In South Africa in total we are talking about 17% of the population having the virus. But in the province of Mpumalanga the figure is much higher – approximately 33%!

Shocking!!

Today we met some of these suffering individuals. Many having small children and even newborns. But even if the mother is carrying the HIV virus, there is hope for the next generation. Today, women are offered medication both during the pregnancy, during birth and during the breastfeeding phase.This medication will prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child….

There is HOPE!!

After visiting the health center today, we were privileged to join the community health workers on home visits. In one home we met a very sick 31 year old woman who had just given birth to a little girl. The community workers reacted immediately and called an ambulance to take the woman and her child to the clinic.

Hopefully they saved a life today? Hopefully there is one less orphan in South Africa?

The health center receives visitors from the entire community. Many come for HIV testing and treatment, both of mother and child, by Emma Devilliers
The health center receives visitors from the entire community. Many come for HIV testing and treatment, both of mother and child, by Emma Devilliers
Martin met a kid who had just been immunized, by Emma Devilliers
Martin met a kid who had just been immunized, by Emma Devilliers
I visited a family at home. The family consisted of a 31 year old woman, with her newborn child. Surprisingly she also had a 20 year old daughter who also recently given birth. Luckily, only the 31 year old had HIV, and she was given HIV medicines so that she could take care of her family, by Emma Devilliers
I visited a family at home. The family consisted of a 31 year old woman, with her newborn child. Surprisingly she also had a 20 year old daughter who also recently given birth. Luckily, only the 31 year old had HIV, and she was given HIV medicines so that she could take care of her family, by Emma Devilliers
Hans Inge bonded with the little charmer! By Emma Devilliers
Hans Inge bonded with the little charmer! By Emma Devilliers
When mother is sick, the grandmother is often left to be the caretaker.  It is not always an easy task, by Michele Bianchi
When mother is sick, the grandmother is often left to be the caretaker. It is not always an easy task, by Michele Bianchi
Sanjana is head of health at UNICEF South Africa. She monitors closely the development and follow up of UNICEF’s HIV efforts, by Michele Bianchi
Sanjana is head of health at UNICEF South Africa. She monitors closely the development and follow up of UNICEF’s HIV efforts, by Michele Bianchi

 

English
    Anna Skuggevik