“If the midwife that day hadn’t sent me to the lab, I think I wouldn’t be alive today. I was very sick and worried about my children,” said Jane
Jane Nyangoma (not real name) is a 37-year-old mother of five who was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) while attending the post-natal clinic at a rural health facility in mid-Western Uganda. Jane is HIV-positive, and was accessing elimination of Mother-to-Child Transmission (eMTCT) services at the same facility.
“Before we started serious follow up under IDI, there were very many positive children here at Buliisa Health Center (HC) IV”
Alice Othieno a 56-year-old lady works at Buliisa HC IV as a peer mother in the Early Infant Diagnosis (EID)/Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) clinic. She is also the People Living with HIV/AIDS (PHLA) representative for Buliisa district, a member of the district Continuous Quality Improvement committee, and a mother of four.
“One Wednesday morning in 2014, I heard the Bujaaja Parish coordinator announcing on a megaphone that IDI – Saving Mothers Giving Life (SMGL) project had organized a community outreach [integrated static clinical outreach] at the church and was bringing maternal neonatal health services including HIV testing services, antenatal care and immunization closer to the people,” said Alice.
Alice, a 29-year-old woman and mother of three is married to Sarapiyo Ndunguse and lives in a remote area plagued by bad roads and therefore has limited access to health services. The closest health facility, Nkooko health centre (HC) III is 20 kilometers away. Alice had previously lost two babies, both delivered by a traditional birth attendant (TBA) in her sub county.
“I had on and off cough for about four weeks which I perceived as normal but when I felt swellings in my neck, I got worried. The few friends I shared with had mixed views like witch craft and HIV. I visited a nearby private facility to test for HIV which turned out positive. When I shared with my friend who is a health worker, she encouraged me to go to Kisugu Health Centre III to confirm the HIV test,” said John.
In February 2017, John (not real name) a 37-year-old car dealer visited Kisugu health centre III to confirm his HIV status following an HIV positive test result he had received a week earlier from a private health facility near his home. At presentation, though he didn’t complain about it, it was observed that he had history of cough, evening fevers and bilateral swelling in the neck which were nonexistent at the time.
“I now use my life as a testimony to help other adolescents at the health center” says Aisha.
Aisha was born HIV positive to a discordant couple – her mother died from HIV and she grew up with her father who was married to four women. Aisha has eleven siblings none of which is HIV positive.
Peace (not real name) is a 26-year-old HIV positive female who lives in Kansanga. One day in December 2016, Peace presented to Kisugu health centre III with her husband (Paul) who had been unwell for two months. They had been referred from a nearby private clinic for HIV care.