Bhekani at his homestead
Bhekani is a 43-year-old man who resides in Shewula in the Lubombo region. Bhekani saw the Kudvumisa CHIPS mobile van passing by his community; he was curious what the mobile clinic vehicle was doing. One day he asked from other colleagues about Kudvumisa. He decided to go and be tested for HIV in February 2016.
Bhekani was counseled for testing which he agreed to do. His results were positive. Physically he was very ill, having chest infections which he started treatment for. He was tested for Tuberculosis and the results were negative. He was initiated on Anti Retroviral therapy and then given the medication. After 4 days he felt very sick and phoned CHIPS to tell us that he stopped taking the medication.
We checked on him and found that he was suffering from side effects from the medication. We took some time to counsel him about the side effects and that they would subside with time, however he refused to continue with the treatment. After this, we gave him time to think about it and then called to tell him about the advantages of taking the Anti Retroviral medication, but he still refused to restart it.
In November 2017, Bhekani called us to say he was very sick and that he needed CHIPS to help him. We responded to the call and found that he was very weak, coughing and having severe chest pain. You could tell by the way he was breathing that he was very sick. For the second time he was tested for Tuberculosis and he was then transported by the Kudvumisa patient transport vehicle to the nearest hospital, where he was admitted for 7 days.
A month or 2 later when he was back home in January 2018 we received a call to say he had collapsed. We again visited him and found out he had suffered from a stroke and so we brought him to the nearest hospital where he was admitted for 2 weeks. When he was discharged he was in a wheel chair and was unable to help himself. His mom at home was the only person to help him. We encouraged him to continue taking ARV's and this time he did. A month later he was able to push himself on a wheel chair outside his home on the veranda. A month after this, he was able to use walking sticks to go to and from the toilet which is situated outside. He was also able to bath himself.
In April 2018 we visited him and he had greatly improved. He is still using the walking sticks but now he is able to climb inside our mobile clinic to refill for Anti Retroviral medication. Bhekani is very happy with Kudvumisa and Chips for being there for him and giving him hope, taking good care of him and encouraging him to continue taking his medication. Bhekani apologized for refusing to continue with the ARV’s and for not listening to CHIPS when they told him about the side effects of ARV's and that it would subside after some time. Here is a statement from him saying, "Chips ungivuse ngifile” meaning “Chips raised me from the dead.” All he can say is "Ngiyabonga CHIPS" - “Thank you CHIPS”!
Bhekani at his homestead
The CHIPS mobile clinic in the community