TAFU2 Interventions enhance delivery of HIV free babies
In the month of March 2018, Esther Kobusingye a VHT from Katooke during one of her home visits came across Kakyo, a woman married to Chance Patrick from Kisangwa, Enjeru Parish, Katooke Sub County. She was 3 months pregnant and had never gone for antenatal care (ANC); neither did she know her HIV status. ‘I took her through a one on one talk, regarding the importance of ANC and the need to know her HIV status’, Said Esther K (VHT) from Katooke.
‘After the discussion, kakyo was positive about visiting the Health facility and we agreed on a day to go to the facility’, Esther narrates. The VHT then escorted Kakyo to Katooke H/C III as agreed. At the facility, Kakyo was taken through the process for ANC services among which was HIV Counseling and Testing HCT. An HIV test was done, Kakyo was discovered HIV positive. She was then immediately enrolled into the EMTCT program.
The VHT then realized that it was very important to also know the status of Chance Patrick, Kakyo’s husband. Esther then organized for another home visit to meet Patrick and interest him to escort his wife for ANC services. The purpose was to create an opportunity for him to interface with the HIV Counselors to prepare him for an HIV test, something he accepted and did. At the facility, when Chance was tested, he fortunately tested HIV negative. An indication that Chance and kakyo is a discordant couple.
Chance and Kakyo were counseled together and given risk reduction tips on how they could continue staying together safely, something he agreed to do. However, conflicts ensued when the HIV free wife heard that Chance Patrick would continue sleeping at Kakyo’s, she decided to separate with him for fear that he might infect her with HIV.
Kakyo successfully completed all EMTCT appointments and delivered a bouncing baby girl in September 2018 in the hands of Health workers at Katooke H/C III. The mother-baby pair is continuing with the EMTCT follow-up as provided for by the MOH guidelines. The first HIV test (DNA-PCR) was done and baby’s results returned negative. The baby is now five months breastfeeding exclusively, healthy and closely being monitored by the Health workers and VHTs.
When I (Ezekiel) interacted with Chance Patrick during one of the home visits in October 2018, Chance greatly appreciated the role played by Health Workers and VHTs especially due to TAFU support. He said he would not leave Kakyo because of her condition; after all she had also stood with him in many challenges. He pledged to follow the advice of Health workers on how to live together. He also requested TAFU to form a Village Saving Group in their area since the two VSLAs were very far from them. This would help boast their incomes since it was now the main challenge faced by the wife in keeping up with the regular health facility monthly visits to collect ARVS.
Story as told by Esther Kobusingye (VHT) to Ezekiel