Kimberly Vrudny

Archive for the ‘Wola Nani’ Category

Participant 13

In 30/30 Participants, South Africa, Wola Nani on August 12, 2010 at 5:15 am

"Participant 13" is a member of the team at Wola Nani. She reflects on the changes she has seen in the lives of those now living positively because of the work of this organization.

I’ve been working with Wola Nani since 1994. We were working then only with HIV+ women. It was very difficult at that time because of stigma. The clients we saw—they didn’t want to attend the clinics. We used to do home visits: helping the people, washing them, referring them to the hospital. In 2002, most people broke the silence. We were assisting them to live positively in support groups. As a result, most of our clients were talking about HIV and spreading the word about the work of Wola Nani. Wola Nani planned to enter the townships, and played a big role in our communities—[in] Khayelitsha, Philippi, Guguletu, Mfuleni, and Nyanga, through support groups from these areas and in the IDC [Infectious Disease Clinic] at the Red Cross Hospital. So if I compare 1994-2000, and 2000 until now, I feel like Wola Nani changed a lot for the clients. They make paper maché bowls and bead work. Wola Nani trained them, and now they can be with their families, and do something to earn money. Most of our clients manage their HIV well. We’ve started a support group for children. Our staff taught even the children how to live positively, and to be confident about speaking about HIV. I’m very proud of the work we are doing at Wola Nani.

Participant 14

In 30/30 Participants, South Africa, Wola Nani on August 12, 2010 at 5:00 am

“Participant 14” is a counselor for Wola Nani. She informs HIV-positive expectant mothers how to prevent mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

I was diagnosed [in] 1990 in Cape Town. I found [out after] giving birth. [Then I] got sick with TB. By 1998, I treated it. So [during] all [those] years there was no medication. By 2003 I started the ARVs so that I [could] be healed. Because I was [at] Stage IV and my CD4 count was 175, I discover[ed] that I had pneumonia. By 2004, [I treated it.]. By 2005 I develop[ed] asthma, so I [have been] using [Asthavent] to make it better. I [joined] Wola Nani in 1998 at the support group whereby I get very strong and I [learned] that I . . . [am not] alone living positive. I started to do bead craft [in] that year. By 2000 I started to train the other[s in] doing craft[work]. By 2007 I started to work as a counselor at Wola Nani. [I have been conducting] the program of mother to child transmission. There I’m telling mothers to prevent their children [from becoming infected] by doing HIV test[s] when they are pregnant. When they [find] out that they [are] HIV positive there is a treatment that they get during [their] seventh month [of] pregnancy. They get dual therapy but if their CD4 count is less than 250 they go on ARVs to protect their babies. [I also teach them] about feeding options [that are] their choice: breast or formula feed[ing].

Participant 15

In 30/30 Participants, South Africa, Wola Nani on August 12, 2010 at 4:45 am

“Participant 15” writes about her own quest to prevent mother-to-child transmission, and about how she works to empower others to do the same through Wola Nani.

I [was] born in [the] Eastern Cape. [In] 1999 [I] tested for HIV. [I t]ested positive. Not sick. Just [was] curious to know. Then [I planned] to have a child. 2001 get pregnant. Was hungry [to] prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) because I need to prevent my child from HIV. I [read a] book [about] PMTCT. Then my child tested when he was nine month[s] old. He was born [in] 2002. Tested negative because of PMTCT. [I w]as in need of support. I got lot[s] of support from my family. My CD4 count was 870 in 2003. Also attending clinic for myself. Because I was hungry [for] informationI [I] started to join a support group where I met others [where we could] also share our stories. Then 2003 NGO FAMSA [sent] me for intensive counselling course. Also 2003 started to join Wola Nani as a client. Attend support group each and every weekday. [We shared]  our ideas with others. Then 2004 I started to work for Wola Nani as a home carer. [This i]s whereby we visit sick clients [and] also check their meds (those [who] are using [them]). Also deliver food parcel[s]. Then 2005 January I have been promoted to work as a counsellor at Red Cross Hospital [through] information I have because I was . . . involved with TAC, ARK, and FAMSA [who] provide[d] me with training. At Red Cross I’m working as a counsellor doing pre, post-test counselling, adherence counselling. [I’m] also helping [with] interpreting for doctors. To work in a HIV facility, it empower[s] me a lot because I was helping clients to deal with stigma, denial, discrimination. Also [I am helping] them adhere to their treatment. Challenges that we [face include] denial [and] also disclosure which lead to adherence problem[s] but we deal with [these by] giving them information.