A year ago, Pili Ramadhan was completely bedridden. Today she shares how assistance from the USAID-funded AIDS and Population Health Integrated Assistance II (APHIA II) Coast project in Malindi, Kenya, has helped her live positively with HIV. She is particularly grateful for the daily visits from her assigned community health worker, Teresia Umazi.
There was a time when I was bedridden. I was taken care of and recovered completely. Now you can see how I am, don’t you? I take my drugs every day since I started ART [antiretroviral therapy] last year in April. Pass on my gratitude to all the staff of APHIA II.
APHIA II is always with me. It doesn’t take a long time before someone from APHIA II pays me a visit. I have received so much from the project that I really do not expect much more.
Teresia is like my mother. She is always with me, and she looks after me in every way. Because I live close to her, she visits me every day. Because of her, I have received a lot of things from the APHIA II project—things like disinfectants, soap and flour.
I have also received a net and a mattress, and I have been given advice on how to prevent infections. Now I sleep soundly, and mosquitoes cannot reach me. In the past, I used to sleep on a mat but now I sleep on a comfortable mattress, and I am thankful for this.
Teresia has also taught me about nutrition, the benefits of eating vegetables—how instead of going on hungry I should eat various fruits like mangoes and bananas. She also advised me to plant pigeon peas so I could have vegetables nearby. And she supplied me with pigeon pea seeds to plant.
She introduced me to SILC [Savings and Internal Lending Communities], which has been helpful to me. When my child is sent away from school on a short notice for nonpayment of an examination fee, I can ask my SILC group to provide me with an instant loan. My children also benefit from the project and all the support I receive. They will also receive school uniforms.
Teresia and I encourage each other a lot, more so because we are both members of a SILC group. Her words of encouragement mean a lot to me, especially when my health was very poor and I felt low, constantly wondering how I would live. That was when she encouraged me not to worry and assured me that she would support me. Her encouragement brought great joy to my heart.
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