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 Sunday 08 November 2009
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Namoe Aisha: "I'm ready for the medicine, me myself, I'm ready for it"
May 2008 (PlusNews)

Photo: Glenna Gordon/IRIN
Namoe's husband and his second wife died from AIDS-related illnesses two years ago
MATANY, Namoe Aisha, an HIV-positive widow with four children, is currently undergoing treatment for tuberculosis at the Matany Hospital in Moroto district, a remote region of Karamoja in northeastern Uganda. She told IRIN/PlusNews about the difficulties she has encountered since being diagnosed with the virus two years ago.

"When I was still young I went to Soroti [a district in eastern Uganda] for school, and there I married a Musoga [ethnic group in eastern Uganda] man. We had four children. Two years ago he became very ill and he died.

"I was also sick and I went to test and found that I have HIV. My co-wife [her husband's other wife] was also sick with AIDS and she died soon after our husband. She had refused to be admitted to hospital even though she was coughing with blood.

"After my husband and co-wife had passed, I came back to my home in Moroto. I left my small girl with her grandparents in Soroti. My husband's relatives are not helping because they are suffering as well. My girl is just sitting there. I fear to tell her I am suffering this disease.

"I was on Septrin [an antibiotic] since the death of my husband, but in February I started to be very sick. I have been in the hospital since then for an operation and for other illness and infection, and now I am having TB [tuberculosis]. I am taking the drugs for this and when I have finished them, I will start ARVs [antiretroviral drugs].

"My son is in Senior One [meaning he is about 13] in Moroto and he comes and visits me here, at this hospital, now and again. I can't bring the young ones [her two other children] here, so I am only thinking how to visit them. My first concern when I had this problem was about my children. Being a single parent, I am everything [to them].

"I have friends who are suffering, but we are free [to talk] together in our support group. Some of the neighbours, they would just laugh at you. I am glad [I belong to] my group. The chairman [of my support group] is allowing my children to stay in a small store in his compound.

"If a member in the group is badly off, we take them to a hospital. We mobilise among ourselves to carry this person, even if we need to push him in a small cart.

"I'm ready for the medicine. The drugs are very strong and it's difficult, but you have to take it. I accept that this has happened and that's it, I must face it, and I am willing.

"As a group, we lobby WFP [the United Nations World Food Programme] for more food to help us take our medicine. [ARVs require an adequate diet to lessen side effects.] We are getting rations but it is not enough; it is lasting only two or three weeks, but it is supposed to be for one month."



[The above testimony is provided by IRIN, a humanitarian news service, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations.]

IRIN welcomes editorial and photographic submissions for inclusion on this page, reserving the right to select and edit as appropriate.
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This material comes to you via IRIN, the humanitarian news and analysis service of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. The opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the United Nations or its Member States. Republication is subject to terms and conditions as set out in the IRIN copyright page.