Meet Kaundu. She is 26 years old and a mother of two. She lives in Mgona, Malawi.
She is also HIV positive and has cancer. Her complicated medical needs create a difficult life for her and her family.
Her cancer began in her mouth and now has travelled to her legs.
Kaundu is on antiretroviral therapy (ARV) and chemotherapy, but sometimes the hospitals run out her cancer medication. She is supposed to receive a chemo shot every week, but when the hospital doesn’t have the medication, she goes home without it.
Visionledd’s partner, Somebody Cares offers home-based care for HIV & AIDS victims. Two workers, who provide her with primary care, such as pain relief, antibiotics and spiritual support, regularly visit Kaundu in her home. The workers also go with Kaundu to the hospital when she receives ARVs or else, they provide her with the money for transportation. Kaundu depends on their visits not only for her physical health, but also their comfort and support. They come and pray with Kaundu and have the local pastor pray as well.
Home-based care does more than just address the physical needs of patients like Kaundu. The spiritual support that this program offers allows patients to think beyond their condition and brings them into a place of peace.
The extreme emotional toll HIV & AIDS has on victims is a burden too big to carry on their own. The home-based care workers show their patients the love of Jesus, who helps them carry their emotional load. When patients walk with God, they are strong.
Kaundu believes she is improving a bit. Last month she was not able to walk or eat, but now she is able to sit up and eat a little bit. She needs to be strong for her chemo shots, despite the irregularity of the treatments. Right now, it is difficult to think about the future, but she hopes to get better for her kids.