By Precious Muskini, beneficiary of the Urban Clinic in Mongú Zambia.
Thanks to the sponsorship from “The Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word,” CHRISTUS Health, and other donors, that this baby is free from HIV/Aids.
The nurses approached me and told me there is a program named MIC and encouraged me to join the group. Initially, I thought this was a group for every mother, only later, after I joined the group I did know that HIV positive mothers make up this group.
I was informed that the purpose of this group would be to educate me on self and infant care as an HIV Positive mother. MIC has helped me get through my fear of stigmatization because it was not easy for me. Everyone in the group is given everything equally without any sign of segregation. The advice was given to us and the encouragements we give to each other makes us walk with this information every day, therefore, practicing what we are told.
I would encourage my fellow woman to adhere to ART, to make use of phone reminder or trusted individuals in the home. I would emphasize the importance of not defaulting, putting the infant at risk. I had no many problems, except that sometimes I was busy at school because I’m a teacher and at times I could miss some lessons of the program.
This platform helps one to get over many fears and gets more information/knowledge on important matters such as breastfeeding without infecting our babies with HIV. Fear of stigmatization among other mothers and personal commitments such as marketers who would attend 3 or 4 sessions and never come back.
The caregiver tried to find out if I was available for a visit but unfortunately I was at school. However one of the mothers in the group shared that the purpose of the visit is to assess how we care for our infant in areas such as food preparation and hygiene within the home.
My family, especially mother and husband were happy and encouraged me throughout this program. My friend supported me too which helped me a lot. It helped me to get over my depression and High Blood Pressure and strengthened me to forge ahead with group activities.
We can be able to access this sort of help from hospitals and us, MIC mothers, can disseminate the knowledge we have gained to other mothers in our respective communities.
Because not all of us can afford to always provide for our children, the food supplements from MIC helped us to go a long way. It would be a good thing if MIC could have a way of helping mothers start small business ventures such as capital provisions that we do not be sorely dependent on MIC supplies.
I do not have enough words to thank the MIC program for the wonderful help they have served us with, may they please continue, I am truly grateful.
On the header: Mother and Infant Care Program (MIC) Mongu, Zambia.