“Bonisiwe is a woman with four children, three girls in school and a one year old boy. She has two broken doors and four broken windows. We have once again hired John, Mamatji’s friend, to repair the house for them. It is a dangerous situation, especially with three girls. When I asked the care worker about a husband, she told me her four children have four different fathers. Apparently Bonisiwe is mentally challenged and they explained to me that people take advantage of her.
“Joanna was the next patient we visited. She is on ARV’s and has extra pulmonary TB, something I never heard of. We were told this was the worst TB, even worse than MDR TB. The nurses and volunteer care workers all stood back from her even though we were outside. Nonhlanhla Nkosi [care worker] told me it is a sickness in which “you don’t die alone”. Zwelithini [another care worker] was the only nurse who approached her. He put a mask on her and his arm around her. She was extremely thin and sickly with a lot of pain. We laid hands on her and prayed for her that she will recover for the sake of her children. She lives with her mother and two children who were in school. Her father passed away two weeks ago from the same illness. Zwelithini took her the next day to get her a grant as they had nothing. They are planning on taking her to the ACTS Clinic next week. We are hoping ACTS will send her to Bongani Hospital, the TB hospital in the area.”