Ann is 33 years old*. She has two children, a boy and a girl aged 12 years and 14 years respectively. We arranged to meet Ann at the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) Clinic where HIV/AIDS patients receive their treatment. The interview was done in a quiet place, in the room that is used for counseling.
Ann had recurring malaria until she was brought to the hospital. At the hospital, the medical staff advised her to have an HIV/AIDs test done. When she did the test, it came out positive and she was started on medication. She was suffering from absences (boils) and as a result she could not walk for three months nor stretch her arms and legs. At the time of the interview, she had been walking on her own for three months.
Every month transport is arranged for her to come and get medicine and food supplies. The children also are assisted with school fees and other school requirements. Through the medication and food supplies, she has regained her strength. This farming season, she was assisted with farm inputs that she used at her field and she weeded her field with the help of her two children. She is being looked after by her mother and her elder sister.
The challenge at the moment is that sometimes the hospital is unable to arrange transport to pick her. By the time that she can get to the hospital food supplies could have already be gone because there are many patients on this program. In this vain, Ann is asking if she could be assisted with a bicycle so that her relatives may carry her to and from the hospital.
*We were grateful that Ann was open to us to tell her life story. In Lamba culture, it is not common to share your life story with people you don’t know well. She was very grateful to MMH and she allowed us to publish the story although we choose to respect her privacy so we have changed her name here.