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Anna Perlini-Tawo tells the story of Verrah:
“This is young Verrah who is very special to us. She started attending Word Academy when she was 4 going on 5. She had to travel a long distance to come to school and had jiggers on her feet. These are like ticks but they eat the flesh. She was malnourished as most of the kids are. Verrah had lost both parents to AIDS. We took pity on the child and asked her guardian to let her stay with us so she would not have to trek so far. That was the beginning of our time keeping this child alive.
We first took her to the hospital where we found out she not only had the jiggers but also malaria, TB and full blown AIDS. The doctors were wonderful and treated her for the malaria and TB. She was also put on the HIV programme and as her CD4 count was so low was put on antiretroviral drugs. The patient must take the drugs at the appointed time each day. Every morning and evening Verrah would come to my house where we would give her the medication. She improved, but with AIDS, even the common cold can kill you. Every time Verrah sneezed or got malaria it was a trip to the hospital. The worst time was during the riots. When she became ill, Paul (Malunga Community director) had to find a way through road blocks and rampaging youth to get Verrah to hospital (12 km away) for much needed treatment.
We were told that most HIV kids on antiretroviral drugs normally die by the time they reach puberty. Verrah is our miracle, she is 13 and still going strong but we do keep an eye on her and give her multivitamins etc. She had a crisis about 2 years ago when she realised why she was taking drugs but with counselling she has turned the corner.”[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title=”Support A Child” style=”modern” shape=”square” color=”primary” size=”lg” align=”center” i_align=”left” i_type=”fontawesome” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-adjust” i_icon_openiconic=”vc-oi vc-oi-dial” i_icon_typicons=”typcn typcn-adjust-brightness” i_icon_entypo=”entypo-icon entypo-icon-note” i_icon_linecons=”vc_li vc_li-heart” button_block=”” add_icon=”” i_icon_pixelicons=”vc_pixel_icon vc_pixel_icon-alert”][/vc_column][/vc_row]