Confused mother helped know true HIV status of her sickly baby and spouse, given SES to improve livelihood

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Kitovu Mobile DREAMS-OVC social worker who had paid a visit to Nalubega (carrying her sickly baby) to see how both the baby and the mother are faring.

By Moses Muwulya,Communications Officer

Aged 20, Gertrude Nalubega, had failed to have a proper diagnosis of her sickly son. Her son, who is now one-and-a-half years old, was sickly from the day she birthed him.

A resident of Kayugi, Mukungwe Sub-county, Masaka City, Nalubega shares that the medical condition defeated medical workers as they could not find out what happened to the baby”.

The mother being HIV positive, medics expected the baby could have contracted HIV and went ahead to do several tests. Butresults showed he was negative. He kept losing weight every day

She even resorted to witch doctors, thinking that the baby might have been bewitched but this route was also fruitless yet a lot of her meager resources were drained.

Amidst such confusion, her spouse wasn’t supportive. He had neglected taking care of his son, leaving the entire burden on her and it was too-heavy for She notes that Despite being sick, he had a good appetite for food, but the helpless mother had nothing to give the baby.

Her mother-in-law was also less supportive, and indifferent on grounds that the daughter in-law refused to give her the baby and she takes care of her.

Worse more, her mother in-law always accused her of infecting her son with HIV

It was upon this background that Kitovu Mobile-DREAMS-OVC enrolled her on the program as a victim of gender based violence and embarked on finding out what was disturbing the baby as well as giving the mother social economic strengthening package and counselling.

One her visit at Kiyumba Health Center IV for ART refills, Nalubega was referred to MRRH for a comprehensive diagnosis of the baby. It was from there that it was established the boy had Tuberculosis and was also HIV positive. They were admitted for treatment and put on good and nutrition.

After they were discharged, the social worker ensured that the farther is also tested for HIV since his wife was positive. Sadly the father was also positive. This sad development overly devastated the him, as the entire house hold was HIV positive with the baby battling both HIV and TB.

The father was enrolled on treatment as the baby waited to complete TB treatment and also get enrolled on ART.Apparently the entire household (Mother, father and baby) is on ART. The mother is yet to have good adherence but adherence counseling is given often to ensure she improves.

With livelihood being poor, the mother was given a socioeconomic strengthening was done as the mother was given capital of Shs 50, 0000 and other essentials like cooking oil, flying pan to start up mamba business.

Although she has not yet started because she is pregnant, she is hopeful that after giving birth October, she will start her business, which she expects to get her a minimum of Shs 6000 profits daily, which amounts to a monthly earning of Shs 180,000

Apparently, the money is being used by the husband who is engaging in a charcoal burning business. She says they have since made a profit of Shs 150,000