On May 6th 2016, our team in Kenya received yet another call from the local youth welfare office. They said that a baby in Diani, around 2 weeks old, urgently needed help.
After the 28-year-old, HIV-positive mother had given birth, she wanted to leave the unwanted baby girl at the youth welfare office. For the following two weeks, the organisation tried to strengthen the bonds between mother and child, hoping that the mother would develop maternal feelings for her little daughter – but to no avail. Finally, the police had to be informed, because the woman repeatedly threatened to abandon the baby. The situation escalated on May 6th when the mother warned the youth welfare office that she would kill the girl if nobody took her in before the end of the day.
A Nice View staff member rushed off to Diani to get a picture of the situation. First of all, she took the baby to a clinic (this was the first time the baby was in a hospital at all). After long discussions with the mother, the youth welfare employees and the police, it was decided that it would be best for the little girl not to stay with her mother. Everyone feared that she would indeed kill her.
That's how "Hope", who hadn't been given a name yet, came to Nice View on May 6th.
Since her mother is HIV-positive, Hope might also be infected. A blood sample was taken and sent to Nairobi for examination. It will take a few weeks until we know more. In addition, the blood test showed that the little girl had an infection which was treated with antibiotics. Since she also had severe diarrhoea, Hope was admitted to the Msambweni clinic a few days ago. We're optimistic though that she'll be discharged soon, since she's recovering fast.
If she is in fact HIV-positive, she might be transferred to a children's home that is specialised in the accommodation of infected children. But it is also likely that she'll stay in Nice View because nowadays, an HIV-infection is "only" a chronic disease, but no longer terminal if treated properly.
July 2016: Hope is already since a while back home and she is luckily doing really well. She has no infection anymore, is a happy baby and develops splendidly.
Unfortunately also the HIV test carried out in Nairobi was positive. We are no physicians but were told that it might be that the test is positive because her mother was infected with HIV. Only when she is around 2 years old it will be known if she is infected with HIV herself.
As a precaution she gets drugs and needs to be in the HIV clinic once a month.