Cat Dulce Ana Timba is a young community care worker in Mozambique. She wrote this blog after attending the RIATT-ESA sponsored Children and Youth Conference at the 2017 Psychosocial Forum.
One day two young people, Zaida and Alberto fell in love. They started dating and soon after Zaida became pregnant. The named their son Deni.
Baby Deni would often get sick. His mother also had a lot of pain, with painful her breasts every time she nursed Deni. When Deni was 7 months old, Zaida’s mother in law encouraged her to stop nursing Deni.
Alberto was a street vendor, which meant he had to travel a lot throughout the country. This meant that Deni would stay with his mother and grandmother. When Deni was 3 years old, his mother began to get sick. She had to travel long distances to get to the hospital, and this only made her condition worse. Although Zaida was discharged, she showed no improvements in her health. Deni’s grandmother was unsure how to help her daughter-in-law when she did not know what was wrong with her.
Soon after Zaida and Deni moved to her family’s house closer to the hospital. Zaida’s condition did not improve, soon lost her ability to walk. Not long after, she passed away and Deni was sent back to live with his father and grandmother.
Still sickly, Deni was finally diagnosed with HIV. This diagnosis was very traumatising for the young boy, as he could only think of the death of his mother. However, his grandmother supported him emotionally and encouraged him to adhere to his treatment.
Deni had physical and cognitive developmental delays. He was physically weak, had dry skin, and suffered from persistent depression. At school he was quiet and was often alone. He had difficulties paying attention and understanding the lessons. After discussing the situation with his grandmother, the teachers started giving Deni the extra attention and support he needed.
Deni is now 12 years old. Through the support of his grandmother and teacher, he is much healthier and happier. Although, he sometimes has to travel long distances on his own to go to the clinic, this has not stopped him from adhering to his treatment.