From the Archives, June 2010:
From FCWCT Manager, Jenny Peck:
“It is with deepest sadness that we pass on this news. Saturday June 26th, Felista Mpangile, an eleven year old here at our orphanage, passed away at 4am due to major organ failure caused by HIVAIDS. She is the first child here to pass away, and I still hear the beautiful haunting songs that were sung by her peers and guardians as they mourned her death, bringing tears to my eyes unexpectedly from time to time since then. Her story has left a deep impact on all of us here, and whomever she met along her journey I can guarantee, feels the same way. The hour of her death, she asked the housemother with her to pray with her, through her pain. She asked, “Why are you making me suffer so, God? Just take me! I didn’t make the mistake, my parents did. Why are you punishing me? Take me!” Until the entire ward at the hospital was in tears with her and Yasinta, the housemother.
One month ago, Felista fell ill, and became skeletal, complaining about her stomach and head. After a few visits to the local dispensary, we were advised to take her immediately to the private hospital nearby where we found the shocking fact that she had a CD4 count of 2! Unfortunately for Felista, and thousands of people like her, she fell through the cracks of an already, severely broken system.
Dr. Leena Pasanen had found Felista, a little 10 year old girl, all by herself at the hospital, asking to be tested, because both her parents had died, and she noticed that she was sick a lot and she had learned in school about HIVAIDS. She learned that indeed she was positive, and began treatment, but began asking/begging Dr. Leena to please take her to live at the Children’s Village because all of the children in her village of Ibwanzi had found out that she was positive and were ostracizing and teasing her. The NGO talked with teachers and village council members, all of who repeated the same story and all agreed with Felista’s request that she should go to the children’s village. The only true relative Felista had left was her grandfather, and he was unable to care for her.
She came to the Children’s Village early in April, and fit in right away. She was continuing her treatment, however, as the village dispensary is a satellite of the district hospital for HIVAIDS care and treatment (until the CTC is finished and up and running), all the files are kept in Mafinga town, a good 55KM away. Normally, patients will come once a month (the staff comes to the dispensary twice a month to see the 1000+patients, meaning over 400 patients in one day seen by one doctor!) to get a refill of their medication, weigh in and talk about their health.
As great as it was to get the hospital coming to the village, it still is a broken system, as Felista’s file was FORGOTTEN for three times in a row! The doctors just kept refilling her meds, not looking at her file, or really talking with her, as they just had too many patients to see. This, together with the problem that the district Hospital had run out of reagents to work the CD4 machine, became a lethal combination. For 4 months, this machine was “not working”, according to the doctors there. It wasn’t until we had to rush Felista to the private hospital 40km away that we found out just how low her CD4 count actually was. Had the doctors brought her file any of those three times when it was forgotten, or had that CD4 machine been working to test her each time, this death would surely have been prevented. This is our call to action! There does not need to be any more needless deaths! CD4 machines are available-they are $50,000, but they are available. This CTC in our village is close to being opened, meaning that all the patients’ files will be kept in the village-no more forgetting files! The only thing missing now is this machine. And if we could do anything for the Felista’s of these villages, we need to get it. NOW.”
#10yearsofservice #10daysofaction #10years10days #FCWCT
Today in 2017, FCWCT is still fighting for the rights of children, the rights of the sick, and the rights of all those who deserve medical treatment.
Our goal is to secure monthly sponsors for each of the 10 projects we are highlighting over this 10 day countdown to our #10yearanniversary!
$25 (£20) pays for a month of outreach work by our social welfare department to locate children just like Felista who are in need. Our systems work better to catch those who fall through the cracks, but without the funding to do so, this work cannot continue. These services reach upwards of 25 of the most vulnerable families who need additional support and care in tough times.
Some of the Home Base Team with their donated bikes by waterforafrica.com.au
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