Monday, October 30, 2006

Another Young Silent Death in Rural Kenya

Our friend Benson led us through the entrance of his family's traditional thatch and mud two-room hut where his brother lay dead on the floor. His cachectic body was simply dressed in plain clothes with a bandana tied around his mouth. There was no fancy coffin, no funeral home, no bouquets of flowers, no music, just a silence broken only by the heart-wrenching traditional wailing of his sister knelt at his side.

He was the third of Benson's brothers to die before their mid-30s. As with the other brothers, his body was consumed by tuberculosis, likely spread through cramped one-room living conditions and complicated by HIV. He was receiving anti-TB treatment, but was unable to reach the nearest medical center when complications arose, due to financial reasons. Instead of receiving available and effective treatment, he died silently in his home one night.

His case is not unique. Upon leaving the funeral we crossed paths with a local nurse who was on her way to the same funeral. When we asked where she was coming from, she told us she was coming from another funeral of a young man who died of HIV in the neighboring village. Throughout these islands, one could march from funeral to funeral of young people silently passing from the epidemic of HIV and TB destroying this area.

--Kevin Messacar


Anonymous said...

the HIV/AIDS and TB status in Suba District is real as you two,Kevin and john have wrote it. This is a more than a true testimoial picture of no none-scense joke.

Whoever might ponder/wonder or try imagining,must and not have, to come and witness with his own eyes.

Daniel Otieno(MOI)Mbita, Suba District,Kenya.

Rhema3777 said...

I spent almost two years living amongst the people of Mbita from 2003 to 2005
My heart was broken as I winessed so many people dying so unneccesarily in this area.
I will be returning soon to continue with the mission to see this devastated area renewed with the life of God.

tanya said...

Hey kev, not sure if you remember me. But if you're someone like me who lived her entire life in the Philippines, fighting our own battles of poverty - HIV and its epidemic in Africa seems like just another story from far away. Something you don't really care a lot about. But hearing it from someone i've met (long ago though it was) just makes it more real. thank you for sharing it.

BENSON said...

Only men and women of Substance and dignity can overcome such odds.We have to practise self control and engage in volunteer projects before God open for us a window of succes.It is three years down the line but the memory of my friends are still fresh in my mind from them i believe i have areason to smile because God gave me good friends.In my own family,I learnt the importance of taking care.Poverty,misfutunes are not reason to make us hide behind the fence.Im out to Study Biotechnology in order to find solution to the people of Mfangano.I have to move.........benson(no giving up)