Children
 Russia
Project #9464

MAMA+ Supports 100 HIV-Affected Babies In Russia

by St.Petersburg-based non-governmental organization 'Doctors to Children'
Vetted
Apr 5, 2013

Helpful experience for the MAMA+ clients

Artyom
Artyom

Recently, a new family has been taken on MAMA+ Project supervision.

Project staff members first met with Zhanna several months ago, when she was six months pregnant. She was brought to the MAMA+ Center by her friend, a MAMA+ client.

Zhanna was alone and needed help. She was worried about herself and the future of her child.

Though resembling many other stories of MAMA+ clients, Zhanna’s story is unique.Over several years, she was injecting drugs. She contracted HIV while a drug-user. She was keeping her diagnosis secret. Zhanna lives in a communal apartment together with her mother whom she is in conflict with.

By the moment of MAMA+ enrollment, she had spoiled relations with her child’s father. As she was pregnant, she often used to take sick leave, which finally created serious financial problems.

+ staff provided Zhanna with consultations and psychological support. They assisted her in taking a maternity leave. They helped her prepare for the childbirth, provided her with babies’ clothes, a crib and a carriage.

“I was struck by the news that I was pregnant. I had no idea what I could do and if I could raise my child on my own. I’m grateful to my friend for telling me about the MAMA+ project. This is the only place where I can speak about my illness freely and be sure that I will always get help”, says Zhanna.

Her son Artyom was born on January 12, 2013. As he was born premature and needed medical assistance and additional care, Artyom was transferred to a children’s hospital in Leningrad region. In the maternity hospital, Zhanna was tested positive for TB. She was prescribed a course of treatment. Her apartment was subject to sanitation.

Presently, Artyom is placed in a babies’ home, as Zhanna had to leave him for a while until she had her health problems resolved. Artyom is visited by the project staff: they bring him diapers, milk formula and clothes. A TB patient, Zhanna cannot visit her son. She is taking treatment and renovating her room, looking forward to Artyom’s return. She has already taken first steps to have him back home: she has obtained Artyom’s birth certificate and registered him at their room. MAMA+ staff will assist Zhanna in registering for children’s allowances after the boy’s return. Meanwhile, the woman continues to receive the project assistance and attend peer support group sessions and seminars for clients at the MAMA+ Center.

This small family is currently facing hard times: Zhanna and her little son are in need of your support!

Artyom
Artyom
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Project Leader:
Elena Karaseva
St. Petersburg, Russia

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