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Back on her Feet

Agita (right) and her goats. Goat milk is an important nutritional staple for people living with HIV in Mozambique. Photo: Zaida Bastos.

July 9, 2014

By Simon Chambers

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Agita is a woman living in the district of Mogoolas in Mozambique.  In March 2013 she fell very ill. As her health deteriorated, her husband left her. Without any support from her family, she found herself bedridden with little hope of surviving.

Luckily for Agita, PWRDF works with EHALE and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) to provide support and care to people living with AIDS in her area.  An EHALE Community Health Worker (CHW) living in the community heard about Agita’s situation and visited her.

The CHW took her to the nearest hospital where she was diagnosed with AIDS and started on anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs).  But her body was too weak;  AIDS patients cannot take the ARVs without good nutrition, which provides both a cushion for the powerful medication and also strength for the body to fight off the virus. Agita could not afford even one meal a day.

The CHW not only took care of her by visiting her daily to prepare meals and care for her, she also brought food parcels for  three months which allowed Agita to have powdered milk, cornflower, beans, peanuts, rice and soya beans””all the nutrition she needed to stay on her ARVs. She also received a goat from EHALE, which provided her with milk. Agita became stronger and stronger.

Once she recovered her health she enrolled into a farmers’ training program run by EHALE. She was an avid student. She learned about sustainable agriculture and now she has a farm of 3 hectares where she grows maize, peanuts, sesame, cassava, and other vegetables. Agita has become a farmer leader and trainer and her farm is used to train other farmers.

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