University Of Nairobi, Bachelor of Arts [Sociology, Economics and Tourism]
Kisumu, February – April 2015
I joined FACES, Lumumba Health Center as a STEP student in February 2015 for a period of 8weeks working in the social sciences department. My responsibilities were HIV Education, adherences classes, attended defaulter classes, and also worked at the vitals desk.
I spent most of my time at the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission [PMTCT] clinic. I would come in the morning and find children some seated quietly in their mother’s laps, some crying while others running about the corridors, clinicians trying their best to prevent HIV exposed infants from contacting the virus .In the medical room one would hear a child crying as blood sample is taken. Parents especially mothers being advised on adherence to drugs, proper breastfeeding and importance of breastfeeding. It was encouraging when couples brought their child to the clinic, this showed how determined they were to prevent their child from having the virus. I also helped in disclosure management, expectant women who tested positive for the first time were finding it difficult to disclose to their spouses and this is where I had to come in to help disclosure run smoothly without violence or mistrust between the couples.
HIV education classes were challenging in that some clients were still in denial and were having hard time understanding what HIV was but with the help of the staff it ran smoothly. It was really motivating to see clients accepting their status by the end of the class. I had the opportunity to attend two adherence classes during the sessions clients were given time to ask any question about ARVs, positive living, viral load and CD4 and any question they had concerning HIV. I felt good when I saw clients nodding their heads to show satisfaction. The clients also promised to follow the teachings and take their medication on time knowing very well that with poor adherence to medication the meds would be resistant. Defaulter class was interesting, I would get interesting reasons as to why one had to default some needed immediate attention while others were out of ignorance. During my stay I met lots of different and interesting people that helped make my learning a success. Thank you STEP for the opportunity, I wouldn’t hesitate coming back again.