Kenneth has worked for one of VisionZambia’s partners the Light of Hope Clinic since 2008 and this is the story of how he came to be a volunteer care giver in his own words…
“My daughter Mubanga Zimba was my first born child. She was married to a man in 2000 and then her husband died in 2001. We didn’t know what killed him, it was just a sickness. She came back to our home. Four years later she began to get sick and then in 2007 that is when she became very sick. I began to suspect that she came into contact with HIV. I was trying to convince my wife she should go for testing but my wife was refusing. She was afraid of the stigma.
One of the care givers at Light of Hope Medical Centre called Mrs Theresa Chirwa came to my home and did some counseling with my whole family. My daughter was so sick. She couldn’t even walk. Eventually she went for testing at Chilanga Hospice and there she found that she was positive. She wouldn’t accept that she was HIV positive. Still more care givers from Light of Hope came to counsel and support my daughter until, slowly she came to accept that she was living with a terminal illness.
She started treatment. She had both TB and HIV. That time I cared for her – I was at her bedside for one week. She stayed in Chilanga hospice for almost two months and two weeks. They were giving her medication and ARV drugs.
After a long recovery period she is stabilised on the drugs and feeling much better, so much so that she owns her own small business – she is selling some vegetables and fish at the market. She buys a large pack of mealie meal and then she packs it into smaller packages. She is doing fine, she has a few small challenges but she is doing fine.”
Because of the care and support that Kenneth’s daughter received from Light of Hope Clinic he decided he could help other families by becoming a volunteer. Now he counsels people who are tested HIV positive and their families through their difficult times.