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A Dollar A Day: The Strongest Link
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A Dollar A Day: The Strongest Link

In the shantytowns of Cape Town, South Africa, the local healthcare system has been stretched to near breaking point by the impact of HIV. But volunteers from both the healthcare profession and the local community, are fighting back and giving hope to ordinary people.

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Segment 1

TITLE
EMF Films and Global Visions & Associates present
TITLE
A Dollar A Day
SIGN
Chemist & Herbalist
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Hello.
TRADITIONAL HEALER
Welcome. Good morning, sister. Please, take a seat. How are you doing?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
I'm fine.
TRADITIONAL HEALER
You are fine?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
I'm doing quite well. But, my son is not doing so well.
TRADITIONAL HEALER
What are the symptoms?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
He's had stomachaches for a week. He vomits and he has diarrhea.
TRADITIONAL HEALER
I will examine him first. Have you been to a clinic with him?
TITLE
Cape Town, South Africa
RAP MUSIC
Check, check, in all cities. I have a message for the new millennium. Ain't going to tell you what the subject matter is, though. Figure it out for yourself.
RADIO ANNOUNCER
Good afternoon and welcome to "Building the Nation." This is Bush radio 89.5 FM. We bring you the topic of today will be health issues and the poverty that is striking our community.
VOICEOVER
For people in impoverished communities throughout the world, finding access to quality healthcare is a constant struggle. At the same time, it is an essential element in escaping the trap of poverty.
TITLE
The Strongest Link
TITLE
a film by Paul King
RADIO PSA
A good lover knows how to handle a condom. Always check the expiry date, and never use one with a broken cover. Mr. Lover, great lovers always check their equipment. For more information call the AIDS health line at 0800-012-322. That's 0800-012-322. Bush radio, keeping our audience alive.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Lift your shirt. My name is Bulewla Princess Cima. I live in Philippi. I'm HIV positive and I'm pregnant. Your shoes. I'm a home carer. I look after people who have HIV and AIDS. My work earns me enough money to support my family. I'm working for the community. Because I don't want people to suffer from AIDS.
VOICEOVER
Bulewla's healthcare problems have inspired her to link herself to Wola Nani, a grassroots organization that is itself a link to the greater healthcare system. In the community, Wola Nani offers invaluable personal services to people with AIDS, by people with AIDS.
RADIO ANNOUNCER
We're talking about the brave women of Wola Nani who'll be having a condom bash this coming Saturday. It will be at Philippi station where they'll be distributing condoms for everybody. So do make sure that you are one of those people who are out there who will be in a position of getting these condoms. Many men out there are very tribal, they're very traditional, and they're very stuck in their old ways. They don't see why they should use a condom for any purpose, especially since they believe in the skin-to-skin method. Personally I think that is very ignorant, and one must always take care of their health. It's important to go out there and get these condoms. Now, good luck to all the Wola Nani women. They're doing something brave in the spirit of ubuntu, and everybody out there ...
WOMAN
It's the latest model, guys. Very modern. At least they look really cool.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Would you like more condoms?
MAN 1
Yes, please.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
You know how they work?
MAN 1
Yes, but show me anyway. You can show me the new method.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
You know how they work?
MAN 2
What is different about them?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
This is a new type. The quality is better than the old ones.
MAN 3
A new type?
MAN 1
Do you use them in a different way?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
They smell better and are softer. And they don't rip.
MAN 3
They're not like the others. They smell nicer.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
They are better, because they are softer.
MAN 1
So they're easier to use?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
But the purpose stays the same.
MAN 2
Do you use them yourself?
WOMAN 1
Yes, they're good. Do you have experience?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Yes, they're good, but painfully hard. Here, look for yourself. You can even use them in your mouth.
WOMAN 1
They are very good.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
I forgot my dildo. I'll show you on my hand. When you use it, you need to roll it right down. Afterwards you put a knot. And keep them out of reach of children.
WOMAN 2
Listen to her. Condoms protect you against diseases.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
You also need to use them with oral sex. That's safer.
SINGERS
HIV is lethal, use condoms. HIV is lethal, use condoms.
VOICEOVER
Even during the best of times, minimal public healthcare systems are overloaded and lacking in personnel and supplies, but when catastrophic epidemics such as AIDS permeate into all levels of society, they are woefully inadequate.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO [Cape Town Public Health Authority]
The reason why I wanted you to be here is just to give you feedback about the results for TB. And you've done very well. Your cure rate was 87 percent, and there were absolutely no treatment failures, nobody died, and no interruptions. So, well done. I am a doctor with City Health. I've been working looking after a number of clinics that provide primary healthcare to the people that cannot afford private care, that don't have medical aid. I make sure of everything to do with resources that are required: staff, drugs, equipment, availability of a budget. That's my role. The resources that have been allocated to the Public Health Services are definitely not proportionate to the need. There's no way that we can afford to have direct care for so many millions of people.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
He's going to change the medication. So, as from today, he's going to change the medication. It's no longer this one. He's going to have Rifinah. We have tremendous problems with shortages of staff. The conditions under which they work are in many instances appalling. And a lot of healthcare workers themselves are infected with HIV and AIDS. There aren't enough nurses and enough doctors out there. And, if they die, and they're dying, it's a tremendous loss. When you lose a nurse, when you lose a doctor to this HIV epidemic, you're actually losing somebody that not only has the skills and ... but also the personal experience. If you save the nurse, if you save the doctor, you save the clinic, you save the hospital, you save the program. Every individual is irreplaceable. And, if you save a mother, you save a family.

Segment 2

BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
My hope is that my baby will be HIV negative. But if she -- and I want my baby to be a girl -- so but if she is going to be positive, I don't care about that. Because I know there is medicine that can protect the child.
TITLE
Khayelitscha Public Clinic
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Before this medicine existed there was no hope for people. Because most of the people feared to go and test. But now they go, because they know there is medicine, and they give it for free. If it's not for free, we can't get it. We don't have enough money.
PATIENCE NTUTU [Anti Retroviral Counselor]
How far are you now, in your pregnancy? How many months?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Six months.
PATIENCE NTUTU
Did you book already at the maternity unit? Okay. Now that you are pregnant, we are supposed to start you on ARVs. They suppress the HIV virus, to undetectable limits. So that the antiretroviral will decrease the chance of your baby from getting the virus from you. And, by doing that, we will be also boosting your own immune system.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Is it not going to affect the child, antiretrovirals?
PATIENCE NTUTU
Ah, in a way: that your child may not get the virus from you while you are pregnant. And we advise the mother not to breastfeed. Because sometimes the child can be born by Caesarean section, to make the chances less that your baby gets HIV. But, by not breastfeeding as well, we are increasing the chances of your child not to get the virus.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
I've got a problem with those pills, because most of the people tell me that you are going to take it for the rest of your life. So I'm afraid to take it.
PATIENCE NTUTU
You take them for life because, once you stop taking antiretrovirals, once you miss your dose, like for a day or two, then the virus will be resistant to some of the drugs, and will increase again. So there is danger with missing the doses.
VOICEOVER
Ironically, the disastrous AIDS epidemic has drawn attention to the lack of adequate healthcare in South Africa and has brought medical advice and supplies into some communities. But these efforts have only scratched the surface. In becoming involved with AIDS education Bulewla has tapped into information and resources that are unavailable to people who live in even more destitution, whether rural or urban. She has bravely stepped forward to try to fill the gap.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Hello, sister. How are you?
PUMLA DLADLA
Alright.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Have you taken your pills?
PUMLA DLADLA
Yes. At 9 o'clock.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Can I see your pill box, please? That looks good. You are pregnant, now. What are your hopes for your unborn child? Don't you want your child not to have HIV? Tell me, what do you think?
PUMLA DLADLA
I can't take it, another HIV positive child. My eldest is already HIV positive. I hope to have a healthy baby.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
I'm asking you because I am pregnant myself. I will accept the child even when it's positive, but I do worry.
PUMLA DLADLA
There is nothing you can do about it. You have to take your children as they are.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Do you have family with AIDS or relatives who died from it?
PUMLA DLADLA
Yes, my mother died from it and two cousins and a brother. My one brother and I are the only ones who are alive with HIV.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Does your girl Zinlanhla have complaints?
PUMLA DLADLA
Not yet.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Do you never forget to give her the medicine on time?
PUMLA DLADLA
No. I just mustn't forget her pills. Otherwise she will be ill again.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
You are making bowls. Does Wola Nani pay you enough to live?
PUMLA DLADLA
Yes, they pay us. The amount depends on the order. When there's a foreign order, we get paid a bit better.
TITLE
Wola Nani Community Center, Khayelitscha
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
Providing healthcare and bringing those people that are sick back to a healthy life is allowing them to continue to be productive. To continue feeding their children. Providing for the community where they live, to build the economy.
VOICEOVER
Money and health are inextricably connected. For those who are barely getting by, health problems inevitably tip the scale. Even if you can find medical care, if you have to spend hours or days traveling to get it, you cannot spend that time working or caring for your family or getting well. And, if you lose those abilities, you are thrown back into the downward spiral of poverty.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
If you are so very poor, you feel ashamed. If you are ill, you don't have the money to go to hospital. If you are not getting those ARVs you are not going to survive. So, if I'm ill, I don't have money, I don't have food. Maybe I'm going to die because of stress. That's why people here in South Africa, they're going to die. The government is not giving me any support. I do everything myself.
TITLE
Wola Nani HIV Support Center, Cape Town
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
My work in Wola Nani does give me enough money to support my family.
GROUP LEADER
All the rest of the people are coming now? Do we have anyone who has got a client who has passed away? No one. Anyone has got a client who is seriously sick, maybe a client who needs any visit?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
My problem is Nomalawu. She is sick and she doesn't have any person to support her. Nomalawu has got two children and she doesn't have a mother. She's sick. I don't know what happens to her children when she dies. Because she's got a problem with the clinic. It's a monthly clinic, which doesn't give her drugs, the ARVs.
GROUP LEADER
I'd say that you must do some investigations. To me, doctors should have a very good reason as to why they don't give her medication. And so just check.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
You have to have community participation and civil society must step in. An organization like Wola Nani, for example, is ... has a tremendous role to play because they step in. They train home-based carers to look after patients that are really in no condition to look after themselves. There is no place for them in hospitals, because there aren't enough beds. The expense of putting those patients in a home, as opposed to caring for them in the community, it just doesn't compare.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
How are you?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
I'm alright.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Did you go to the clinic yesterday to get your TB vaccinations?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
Yes, but I went in vain. I have to come back with this card.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Did they mention AIDS?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
No.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Is it getting worse?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
They haven't said anything.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
They haven't said anything about the CD4 count in your blood when they released you from the clinic?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
No.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
So, you won't be getting the medicines for now?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
No.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
You did ask for them?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
Yes, but I'm on a waiting list. But soon it will be too late because the TB gets worse every day.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
And you will stay on the list.
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
The waiting list is very long.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
How is your body?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
I have no appetite.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
You try to eat, but ... You just don't feel like eating.
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
I try to eat porridge. I take vitamin pills. Sometimes I eat some dry porridge and manage to keep it in.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
So you can eat a little?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
Yes, a little bit.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
But you don't get any stronger?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
No, I don't.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Does your doctor know?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
Yes, but I keep on losing weight. The doctor says I have to force myself to eat. I try my best, but even eating makes me feel sick.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
There is nothing you can do about it? When you get seriously ill aren't you worried what will happen to your kids?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
Yes, very much. If I could survive until they are 16 or 17 then they could look after themselves.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Who could they stay with?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
Nobody. They will become street kids. I can't take care of them.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Do you have their birth certificates?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
No.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
I'll help you to get them. You must give them to someone in case of emergency. Then they might be able to go to a foster home. Stay calm and don't give up. With HIV you don't have to die. Don't keep your problems to yourself. Go to the support group. They can give you comfort. If you don't talk about it you will get stressed.

Segment 3

TITLE
Sinethemba High School
VOICEOVER
Between despair and hope lies education. But first the silence must be broken.
THEMBILE PAPETEKA [Life Skills program]
Please, I want you all to concentrate and show respect for the kids who are in the play. OK, let's do the play now.
GIRL 1
Toot, toot. Do you want a ride?
GIRL 2
Yes, no problem.
GIRL 1
What's your name?
GIRL 2
My name is Blossom.
GIRL 1
Blossom is a nice name. I would like to see you again. How about tomorrow night?
GIRL 2
Tomorrow night? Okay, it's fine. Around 8 o'clock?
THEMBILE PAPETEKA
You see the guys, the kind of cool guys, the guys who are checking out the girls?
WOMAN
I think that's how they see guys.
THEMBILE PAPETEKA
That's how they see guys? Yeah, but children suffer in silence. They do not express what they feel. That's why it's very important to break that kind of circle. That silence. Because children are not encouraged to talk. But in those pieces children talk about their feelings. Drama is a powerful tool.
GIRL 2
Did you hear what he said?
GIRL 3
That cab driver?
GIRL 2
He likes me. He wants to go out with me.
GIRL 3
Watch out. Maybe he has AIDS.
THEMBILE PAPETEKA
The life skill program is about healthcare in their communities. What I like about it is that we did not prescribe to them what they need to do. They did that out of themselves.
GIRL 2
I'm going. I will look after myself. The boy is friendly enough.
GIRL 1
Go and freshen up. I'll take you home. I'll see you tonight.
GIRL 2
What are you looking at?
GIRL 3
You are careful, aren't you?
GIRL 2
Of course, but I want you to come to the clinic.
GIRL 3
OK, so you will?
GIRL 2
Don't laugh. Going to the clinic is not funny.
VOICE
Come in. Be quiet and take a seat.
GIRL 3
I don't want to sit too close to you. Why are you here?
GIRL 2
For an AIDS test.
GIRL 3
You have beautiful legs, but you smell.
VOICE
Speak up, I can't hear you.
GIRL 3
Do as I say, or I'll hit you.
GIRL 2
Don't pull my arm so hard.
GIRL 3
If you don't cooperate I'll send you away.
GIRL 2
Why are you hurting me?
GIRL 3
You belong to the poor, illiterate people. I don't feel like doing this.
THEMBILE PAPETEKA
An interesting thing for me was the nurses in the clinic. You saw how they relate to children. Maybe they do not see what they are doing. So if they watch that, coming directly from the children themselves, they would be able to realize they are doing ... there is something wrong that they are doing. So, we need to encourage people to change their mind-set. Because these children will be the nurses of tomorrow.
VOICEOVER
While the nurses of tomorrow are being prepared, young medical and nursing students from Cape Town are volunteering their services through an organization called SHAWCO, Students Health and Welfare in Cape Town.
GARETH MANNHEIMER [SHAWCO, students health and welfare organization]
The second mobile [clinic] is broken down. Here comes the first one. So hopefully the second one will be here shortly. When all the students are here, I count up and then I'll show you where you must start tonight. New Rest is actually quite a small township area. It's a small, poor community. The poorest of the poor. The only way that these people could be poorer is if they didn't have homes. The problem with the South African healthcare system is just that it's so overburdened. And you never know: there's always this idea that you think you may get help, and hopefully you will get help, but you never know. SHAWCO gives them the opportunity to have a healthcare when it's needed and where it's needed. If their child is sick, they know that SHAWCO will be there and they can take their child there and they will be seen. We need to get this room up and running. Can we just empty it out and then try and get a light in there. We're going to need an extension cable; I've got a bulb in here. Okay, I'll get an extension cable for you. The community health workers certainly play a very important role in the running of our clinics. In fact, our clinics wouldn't be possible without the community health workers. They are responsible for informing the community that we're gonna be there. They provide translators, they give us security. Any work that has to be done in terms of organization and logistics is done by the community health workers.
VOICE
Next patient, please.
GARETH MANNHEIMER
SHAWCO is NGO, funded by students primarily. We couldn't function without the volunteers. It is a student-run project. And another big part of SHAWCO has become foreign medical students.
PATIENT
It's quite painful especially the upper jaw.
DOCTOR 1
So you came here mainly tonight because of the pain. Is that the pain in your eye, that's what's troubling you because your vision's alright?
PATIENT
Yeah, my vision is quite okay, but the thing is I just need an ...
DOCTOR 2
Essentially, do you cut it like that to get all the gunk out ...
VOICE
Or do you cut it vertically?
PATIENT
The thing is, I was attacked by robbers a week before last.
DOCTOR 1
So you were attacked two weeks ago?
PATIENT
Yes.
DOCTOR 1
How were you attacked?
PATIENT
Those guys, they hit me with a stick.
DOCTOR 1
That must have been very scary. Okay. So you can see there is quite obviously a lot of blood. Okay, I'm going to shine this in your eye. You can see there. Guys, can you see? There's quite a lot of blood. Okay, so we're just going to look at the face and see. You know you always compare the sides. So we're just going to compare.
GARETH MANNHEIMER
Just tell him to blink as much as he can. That's good. And it is going to be a little bit hazy. Okay, it is going to be a little bit hazy. Blink again. It won't burn, it's not sore. And tell him it's going to go away. It will go away. Mama, three times a day. Okay, in the morning, at lunchtime, and at night. Okay, and this should get smaller.
SIGN
Mavuk Ekufeni: Herbalist Chemist
TRADITIONAL HEALER
The stomachache is caused by blood poisoning. It blocks up his chest and causes the coughing and the headaches. I will give you medicine but you also have to take him to the hospital. Then the doctors will also see what is wrong with him. Come back when the medicine is finished and to say how he is doing.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
Traditional healers are very important. The people don't necessarily come to the clinic for medical care. They'll first go and attend the traditional healers. What we're trying to do is to say, "Okay, we respect your need to go to the traditional healer. But then let's work together." We've engaged in an initiative to explain to them what HIV is all about and how opportunistic infections work. It was very well received by the majority of traditional healers, that were very enthusiastic about learning as much as they could.
TRADITIONAL HEALER
Give him the medicine from the bottle when he feels ill. Otherwise twice a day, three teaspoons full. The powder cleanses the stomach. He only has to take it at night.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
How long will it take?
TRADITIONAL HEALER
Not long.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
Some of them are excellent. And, if we understand each other, we can cooperate and support each other rather than, you know, develop conflict and undermine each other.

Segment 4

VOICEOVER
Another link in the chain of healthcare in this region is Doctors Without Borders.
DR. P. SARANCHUK [Doctors Without Borders]
You've over three years on ARVs now. You're pregnant. It's about 7 months now? How is the pregnancy?
PUMLA DLADLA
It's fine now.
DR. P. SARANCHUK
And Zinlanhla? How is she?
PUMLA DLADLA
She's fine.
DR. P. SARANCHUK
How are you? So, Zinlanhla, you take ARV tablets too? Okay, she's doing well. I think she's been five months, six months?
PUMLA DLADLA
From February.
DR. P. SARANCHUK
February. More, okay. So you're doing very well. You're faithful with the treatment. The HIV has stopped growing. The CD4 count is coming up and the viral load is perfect, undetectable. I'm happy, you're doing well now on these ARVs. So, hopefully, when the new baby's born, you won't pass on the HIV to the new baby.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
If the mothers are not offered antiretrovirals there is chance of transmission of 30 percent. But with a good antiretroviral program that 30 percent transmission can come down to below 10. So that means you're saving 20 babies. The mother-to-child transmission program is one of the most important programs that we were very successful in rolling out.
MAN
There is a lovely lady who will come and give us the message as well. You are not the only one.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Hello, Philippi. Hello, Philippi. I'm Bulewla Princess Cima. I live here in Philippi, close to the little shop. I'm here to tell you about AIDS. I've been HIV positive since 2000. It's going well. I don't have any problems. When you hear you are HIV positive, it is not the end of the world. Do get tested before you get sick. Help each other. When you're young and you hear you are HIV positive don't jump in front of a train. Do not commit suicide. It is very important to have safe sex. Be safe. There are condoms, so don't get infected. Please go to a clinic. It is no trouble to get tested. Thank you.
MAN
That was a proud lady. There's no way you can tell that she's been infected.
GIRL 3
Are you there again? Hold yourself when I give you the results. I don't want you to faint. What would you do if you had AIDS?
GIRL 2
Commit suicide.
GIRL 3
Suicide? But you're dead already. And you think you are so great.
GIRL 2
Do not torment me. Just tell me.
GIRL 3
You are ill.
GIRL 2
Why ill?
GIRL 3
You have AIDS. You're critically ill.
GIRL 2
AIDS? No, not me. How do I tell my mother?
GIRL 3
You are very ill.
GIRL 4
What is the matter?
GIRL 3
Don't touch her. Do you want to get AIDS too? Why do you touch her? Shut your big mouth. You look ill too, girl. Get yourself tested.
GIRL 2
It is very hard. My parents turned me out of the house out of fear. Nada dumped me, because I'm ill. I can't go anywhere. I'm going to commit suicide.
THEMBILE PAPETEKA
They are doing it dramatically. They are performing it. You see it with your own eyes. You see what they go through, those children. That's what they're expressing on a day-to-day basis. Talking about the healthcare. How inaccessible the healthcare is in their communities.
WOMAN
What is the actual impact? Do you see any results from the program?
THEMBILE PAPETEKA
They're raising awareness. They're letting people know how they feel, letting people know what is in their minds. We're talking about these programs. As you know I grew up in a situation similar to that. Something similar. There were no clinics. Clinics we'd have to walk long to take her to the clinic. And then you'll get people who will talk about your problems in the community. And that's why I'm so passionate about this thing. My mother also passed away because of the lack of healthcare in our communities. I was helpless, you know, seeing her on the hospital bed not being attended. And she died, something that could have been prevented.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
We do the best we can to improve the situation. In terms of the environment, in terms of provision of water, housing, you know, the general infrastructure. It is difficult, because there's this constant influx of people moving in. And no matter how many toilets you build, you'll always find yourself in a situation where there aren't enough toilets for the people. It's just a big vicious cycle. If they're not healthy they cannot participate in the economy. And in the long run, you're not just gonna have lack of health, but poverty is going to increase tremendously.
VOICEOVER
When healthcare systems are inadequate, a chain of smaller entities often link, one to another, to try to hold things together. Schools, traditional healers, NGOs like SHAWCO, Doctors Without Borders, and WOLA NANI, in conjunction with its all-important community healthcare workers, have brought care to millions and saved thousands of lives. But what does this mean for the future? Will the chain be strong enough to do the job? Is there a better way?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
I've got my child now. She's name is Yolanda. My hope now, because I'm going to test my child, my hope now she will be negative. Even if she is positive, I'll love her. I'm proud to support my family, I'm feeling free. Because at least I have the money to go to the clinic. And even for my child I [can] afford to buy something to eat. How are you now?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
I'm much better now.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
So, you're doing better.
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
Yes, and you?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Have you been to the clinic?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
Yes.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Are you getting ARVs?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
I've had them for two months now.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Two months?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
Two months.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
And do they work well? No side effects?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
No.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Good. And the shop?
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
It runs well.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
I'm happy about that. I know how sick you were. Now you can buy food and clothes for your children. It's good that you're there for them. This means fewer worries. We stay in touch.
NOMALAWU NOMZANGA
OK.
HEALTH WORKER
All you do is you stay close with baby, so baby doesn't feel scared. You're here with baby the whole time, and he knows you. Because otherwise if it's just us he doesn't know us and he can sense this and he's sleeping but not for long. It's just us, here's mummy. Now just keep your hand, keep your hand, keep touching. In about seven days, doctor contacts you and then you'll probably go in to him and they'll talk and you can discuss the results. Okay?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
How is it?
PUMLA DLADLA
How are you doing?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Fine, and how are you? Do you have the results, yet?
PUMLA DLADLA
Luckily my son is seronegative.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
When did you get the results?
PUMLA DLADLA
I got the results last week. I am so happy. I would find it unbearable if both kids were seropositive.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
You are lucky. I'm still waiting for the results, I hope to hear it soon. But I have good hopes. Okay, I keep you posted.
PUMLA DLADLA
Alright.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
Bulewla Princess Cima. Come through. Good morning, take a seat please. Right, so. Today is the big day for you, hey?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Yes.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
I've got good news. I've got very good news.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Serious?
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
The blood was negative.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Thank you.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
Ooh, look at the baby. How do you feel? Take a seat, take a seat. How do you feel?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Amazing.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
So you're feeling good, hey? Your baby is not infected. So everything that you did, all treatment you took, everything you did was for a good cause and it worked.
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
It's as if I'm dreaming. It's like a dream.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
Now we've got a smile from your baby. So, she's fine. So you must be looking after this baby very, very well, eh?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
Okay.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
She's a precious baby. A baby that was saved. But now the thing is, are you gonna have more babies?
BULEWLA PRINCESS CIMA
No, I want to go and [get] sterilized because I've got enough children. I don't want to put more child through risk. Because maybe I'm not going to survive the next baby. So I want to use condoms and [get] sterilized now because I've got enough babies.
DR. VIRGINIA AZEVEDO
I think that's a very wise decision, okay? Very often I'm humbled by the strengths that you see in some of the people that we're dealing with. How, where everything seems to be lost and there seems to be no hope, how the tremendous positive energy that some people have to be able to turn things around and to make a difference. And if we could just find those individuals and support them I'm sure we would be able to move forward.
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