A referral from the community health worker saved Bright`s life

A referral from the community health worker saved Bright`s life

Bright is 6 years old. His mother died in 2016 leaving him with his father Pascal and 2 siblings, in Mubende, Uganda. In September 2017, Bright experienced severe malaria and developed a skin rush all over his body. His father could only buy simple tablets like pain killers and anti-malaria from the drug shop to treat malaria.   

 

Bright and his father at home

Too much fever 

“I noticed that Bright’s illness was just worsening especially when he got admitted to the health center for some weeks,” Pascal narrates. In January 2018, during his household visits community health worker Kyarimpa Francis identified Pascal’s home and encouraged him to take all his children for HIV testing. He gave them the referrals to go to the outreach carried out by the children’s development centre.

“By the time Francis visited me, Bright had spent almost two weeks with too much fever. I was treating him with the tablets that I had bought from the nearby drug shop, I even thought the medicine was not working,” says Pascal.

During that outreach that was organized by the children’s development centre, Pascal went with Bright and his 2 siblings. They were tested for HIV and received their results. It was discovered that Bright and his father were HIV positive while his siblings were negative.

 

My responsibility

“I was in shock when the health worker told me that Bright and I were HIV positive. But I was grateful that two of my children were HIV negative,” the father narrates.

The health worker counseled Pascal and gave him two referral forms to go with Bright to the health center for treatment. They however opted for another health center more nearby and both were enrolled into ART care. “I felt it was my responsibility to follow them up and make sure they were enrolled into care. I also continued counseling Pascal since he is a widower and has to live and take care of his children,” Francis explains.  

 

"I want to thank TAFU project and CHAU for coming to our sub-county"

- Kyarimpa Francis, Community health worker Mubende, Uganda

Bright

Empowered

“We now take our ARVs very well as directed by Francis  - every day at 8:00PM after eating. Bright has gained appetite for food, he no longer gets fever. I really thank Francis for saving our lives because my son no longer experiences the malaria fever like before,” Pascal narrates.

During a community dialogue meeting in his area recently, Pascal shared his personal testimony about how Francis saved their lives. He encouraged his fellow men to take on their responsibilities as family heads and take their children for HIV testing.

 

Work with different partners

“I follow up my clients to ensure that the referrals are complete. As a community health worker, I work with other implementing partners like the children’s development centre  and clinics within my sub-county who offer HIV testing. During the pediatric HIV care and treatment workshop that was facilitated by CHAU we learned to work with different partners. I want to thank TAFU project and CHAU for coming to our sub-county. HIV positive people have been identified and enrolled into care,” concludes Francis.

 

Narration and pictures by Matsiko Isaac - TAFU district coordinator, Community Health Alliance Uganda

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