Ayanda* was 2 years and five months when she was admitted on the Philani Programme. At our first visit she was severely underweight. We noticed that she was due to start ARVs the previous year. However, Ayanda’s mother passed away and never disclosed her status to the grandmother.
Ayanda’s mentor mother accompanied her and her grandmother to the clinic. At the clinic a few tests were done and Ayanda was diagnosed with TB. She was immediately initiated on medication for both TB and HIV. They also entered Ayanda onto the Nutrition Therapeutic Programme (NTP) due to ...
Thando* was admitted into Philani’s programme as he was severely underweight at 2 years. Thando and his mother are originally from the Eastern Cape but arrived in Cape Town as he was referred to Red Cross Hospital. He was diagnosed with a nephroblastoma (kidney cancer) and was referred for chemotherapy, as his cancer was advanced.
On the first visit, stress was written all over the mother’s face. She was 21 years old and was struggling to cope on her own. Her mother died a long time ago and she didn’t have anyone to support her or a shoulder to cry on. We started ...
22-year old Owethu* was admitted into the Mentor Mother Program when she was 5 months pregnant. As of Xhosa tradition a mother should be in the care of her own mother during pregnancy. In her case she moved back home to Tsolo. This meant that we could not attend to her since we do not have mentor mothers in that area.
She came back when the baby was 3 weeks old. When still under our care prior to her leaving, Owethu would not tell us whether she was HIV+ or not. When she came back with the baby we picked it up from the baby’s Road to Health Booklet that she was indeed ...
Thandiswa Mhe, a Philani mentor mother, met a client Nomasango* in Site B, Khayelitsha, who is 49 years old, has one child and was separated from her husband. The client was separated from her husband for 4 years when Thandiswa met her. The husband came back after 4 years to reconcile with his wife. 6 months after his return Nomasango fell sick with shingles. She went to the clinic and was diagnosed with HIV. The client became traumatised and would hear voices, she struggled to accept her condition. The mentor mother, Thandiswa, offered her counselling and encouraged her ...
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This story is from Thembisa Njomana, one of our Mentor Mothers.
Thembisa found a 23 year old new mother-to-be in her area who was very close to delivery. She was new to the area and had only recently found out that she was HIV positive. Thembisa visited her regularly to help her come to terms with her HIV status and prepare her for the birth of her first child.
Her baby was born in April 2014 and weighed just 1310g. Thembisa visited her often to help her exclusively breastfeed her child, and to speak to her about the importance of kangaroo mother care, and the ...