Recently our local media house called NTV carried a fascinating investigation on how some women are selling their ARV’s after getting them for free from our government. They called the story “SISTERS OF DEATH.” For the sake of those who missed the story and our friends who do not live in Kenya, let me share with you the whole story.
I can say in Kenya we normally have a short cut for almost everything. If you cannot buy new clothes from the shop, then you can get them from the second hand shop at a cheaper price. Also if you cannot afford electricity, then you can buy kerosine for tin lamps to light your homes. But this time it did not go well with this group of women in one of our slums in Nairobi who normally make local brew for those who cannot afford the real beer or wine. These local brews are prepared by almost anything that can make it bitter. Some of this things are very poisonous to human health. One example is formalin, which is normally used on corps. So these women were on another mission to invent something that could “improve” (for worse) the taste of their “beer.”
Before long, they heard from different HIV patients complaining of dizziness (they called it getting drunk) after taking taking the drugs. They jumped into a conclusion that ARV’S can actually make people drunk. The next day was to embark on a mission of buying ARV’S from patients and then to crush them to include in their beer as a new-discovered recipe. This business is now booming so much in our slums where people are extremely poor, according to the report.
When the people selling ARV’s were asked about the risk they were posing to their own health, it was the same old answer, “I am hungry, my children are hungry.” Before we can blame them, understand the two choices they had to make: to eat or to take medication only.
This story is sad, but on the other hand it supports what we do at CFA. I am strongly convinced that the ARV’S don’t make people drunk, but those who were drunk must have taken the drugs on an empty stomach. That is why at CFA we provide food supplement to our clients – in fact food takes a big percentage of our budget. We realized that drugs taken on an empty stomach were hurting the clients most.
One day during one of the seminars that we normally conduct, a client collapsed. Anybody who does not know would have thought that she was either drunk or very sick. The truth was- she was just hungry. She took ARV’s in the morning, but on an empty stomach. After giving her food, she was back on her feet in less than 10 minutes, jumping around and praising God. That is why we also give food during seminars.
One of our client called martin is a perfect example. He joined our program when he had lost hope in life. His main problem was poor diet, as you can see in this picture from the beginning of the program:
We introduced him to proper diet and counseling. In less than 3 months his health improved drastically! ARV’S without food is not enough. See him at the graduation ceremony:
I want to encourage all the workers and CFA friends that our formula is working. Peoples lives are changing, not just for one week or 9 months, but for good. Thank you all for being part of CFA!
This is another example of the challenges facing our team in Kenya – please continue to pray for the workers in our centers who deal with issues like these every day! See the full referenced video investigation here. Thank you for your support of Cornel and the rest of our team.