By Mpilonhle Mobile Unit One (ISIQALO)
It was on the 22nd of May 2008, when a learner of 17 years of age tested positive, although it was business as usual, what was exceptional with this case, was that she was failing to cope and could not understand why she tested positive because she had never been sexually active or sexually molested.
Her CD4 count was done on the 27th of May 2008 and it came back on the 26th of June 2008 very low i.e. 37 and 6.72 in percentage. Our next plan of action was to refer the learner to the local clinic (Mtubatuba Clinic) for initiation of ARTs; she was then taken to the Mtubatuba clinic by our driver and nurse to be introduced to the clinic setting and handed over to the ART Department for further management.
The Mtubatuba clinic was requested to start treatment and in this case her mother had to be called (phoned), she was reluctant to allow her child to start ARV’s and requested that we leave her child alone, as she did not send her child to be tested for HIV but with our nurse and social worker’s persuasive skills and explanation they managed to get her consent so that the child could start ARV’s as soon as possible. Then the client was put on a fast tracking programme i.e. where baseline blood is taken and the client starts taking ARV’s immediately without attending the compulsory literacy classes as this would follow while the client had already been started on ARV’s on the 21st of August 2008. Feedback given to us was that she was doing well on treatment.
This story shows us the good that is done by Mpilonhle (a good life) to the community of Umkhanyakude District because without Mpilonhle the child would still not know her status yet she was having a low CD4 count, which could lead to unnecessary death that can be prevented.