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Anuwa? Part 25

By M'kwanailya wa Mweuta
Hapo when is the stigma against people living with HIV diminishing in our minds? Loads of campaigns are flooding all sort of media but still "show symptoms of HIV related disease enter a hospital and nurses will start murmuring among themselves giving each other opinions until one can read between the lines"!

Recently I witness in horror how a child with a rare skin disease was being ignored at a private hospital until her HIV results were known. The poor child reacted badly to some medication and when her parents took her back to hospital, nurse's freak out and demand that parents take her first for HIV test before they administer anything to her. In the meantime, the reaction ranged on her body destroying both outer and inner parts and impaired the child's vision and speech.

The assurance from the parents that the child was HIV negative and that the hospital should right away investigate the cause of reaction fell on deaf ears. By the time the suspected virus results became known, the reaction caused more havoc resulting in the child wheeled into ICU. Pardon my ignorance on the details of diagnosing techniques but why are they systematic and cannot be concurrently? Often one hears "firstly we have to diagnose your HIV status".

It seems that according to our unwritten health system regulations nothing will happen before ones' status is known. I would imagine that at least nurses and doctors ought to listen to what I have to tell them at least on what I suspect and then take it further. If I tell them that I gave my child this medicine I expect them to test the cause but not my HIV status first and thereafter the cause of the reaction. By narrating this horror to a colleague, it generated another horror tale. Anuwa a middle aged guy went to a state hospital complaining about a stomach pains. He was ordered to go for HIV test. After his results proved 'negative', he was sent home and was told "then we do not know what is wrong with you".

For six months, anuwa he pleaded for further test and only then a very advanced intestine cancer was detected. One wonders why there are no precedents cases in medical field. Sure bodies differ but comparing historical precedents will not do any harm! After all, there is HIV symptoms are not exclusive! By the way, I was chocked to say the least to hear that there are still parents at public multi racial schools who are still warning their kids not to play with dark skinned ones. After 23 years of independence, last week, anuwa a mix raced child confided in a dark skinned fellow learner that "her dad was upset when she picked her up from school and found her playing with a dark skinned fellow learner telling her to play only with kids of her colour!

Anuwa the mixed raced learner was very sad about her dad's instructions and she went on telling her friend that her dad swear at the dark skinned child who was playing with her on his way home. The mix raced learner confided in her dark skinned learner that she was also told by her father not to dare to accept any birthday party invitation from blacks as she will never be allowed to set her feet in black 'people's houses.

The fact that the poor child told her fellow learners about her dad's racial outburst clearly showed that she is traumatised by her dad's behaviour. Does this man really know what damage he is causing to his child? While this incident cannot be generalised to all multi racial schools, there is however an indication that all is not well at our schools.

Recently, there was a hint about a need for social workers and psychologists to be employed at each public school. This gesture will be welcomed as it seems that parents are refusing to let go their racial hatred instilled in them some years ago. Worse, it seems a silent generation racial discrimination transmission is being waged underground.

Fortunately, victims are not willing to fight wars which they see no benefits. Apart from solving academic performance at schools, the employment of social workers and psychologists at public schools might expose those against racial harmony in Namibia.


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Windhoek, Katutura