We left her and went to visit a few others in the ward. Much to my shock and dismay the 12-year old girl who was discharged from the hospital back in July was back in her bed. This is a long complicated story, but here is the gist. Her father is dead. Her mother got very sick (HIV/AIDS and MDR-TB – Multiple Drug Resistant TB) and the young girl nursed her mother in their tiny one room house until the mother died last November, at home with the young girl. Then the girl herself contracted MDR-TB from looking after her mom (the girl is also HIV positive from birth we believe) and was put in the TB Hospital where she spent eight months on treatment. When it was time for her to be discharged she called ME to come pick her up! Why? Because her family was dead and mine was the only phone number she had. UGH. I could not take her as I have nowhere for her to live, but the nurses contacted her church and made arrangements for her to go live with a family in Mbabane.
Fast track a few weeks and she was back at the hospital. Apparently she was pushed by one of the girls at the home where she was staying and she pushed back (who knows what happened?), but the parents who were caring for her said they would not tolerate that behavior and drove her back to the hospital gate and dropped her off. Two weeks later she was taken back to the family in Mbabane and then it happened again and they dropped her again at the front gate of the hospital.
We have contacted people in authority here in Swaziland who we believe can help. There are meetings happening and we pray that it is not too late. This young girl, not even yet a teenager, can become re-infected just by being in the women’s ward at the hospital. We pray that doesn’t happen.