Heroes In Birth: Inspiring Tales Of HIV Negative Bauchi Kids Born By Women

TOPE OMOGBOLAGUN writes about how robust medical interventions offered fresh hope to HIV positive parents in Bauchi State helping them to give birth to HIV negative babies

Thirty- six – year – old Zainab has nursed a secret pain for 15 years caused by the loss of a child . The pain was compounded by the collapse of her first marriage.

Since then, the soft- spoken woman had given marriage a wide berth . But her fears crumbled like a pack of cards when cupid shot its arrow.
Zainab told our correspondent that she met her husband through a friend during a visit to a hospital to get drugs .

She said after the meeting, they got talking and she later discovered that he was also HIV positive . According to her, they courted for some time and got married in 2013 .

The woman said she never thought hope could come her way after her first marriage experience. She stated , “ I discovered that I was positive several years ago . I first got married in 2005 before my husband and the child I had died.

“ It was during my ex- husband’ s last days on earth that I found out I was also HIV positive . He was sick for a long time and admitted at a teaching hospital and it was there that the tests were conducted. The sickness affected him such that it became a psychiatric problem. It was at the time that it was discovered that he was positive and placed on drugs .

“ Then , the drugs were usually brought from Gombe State. Later on , he was asked to come with his wife to also conducted test on her. That was when it was discovered that I was also positive . I was placed on cotrimoxazole for about three years .

“ I didn ’ t know that I can fall in love again . I was happy when love found me again and especially after the birth of my son , Murtala . I have a new hope , ’’ she told our correspondent as she adjusted the short , black veil caressing her happy face .

Zainab ’s baby is HIV negative. Seven- month – old Murtala looked beautiful and healthy in his brown shirt and short as he smiled at our correspondent , struggling to leave her mother ’ s arms .

Zainab said her son has never shown any strange illness since birth , only some teething- related issues peculiar to children of his age.

She said , “ When I got pregnant , I decided to take a step further to confirm that I was pregnant . I went for a scan which confirmed I was pregnant . For me , it was a mixed feeling because I was excited that I was pregnant . At the same time , I was scared because of my status . I approached the HIV/ AIDS control department of the Bauchi State Agency for the Control of HIV/ AIDS, Tuberculosis , Leprosy and Malaria and I was advised to register for antenatal immediately.

“ When I went to the health facility , I registered and was told to return two months after . The doctors told me that they will fix me in a team . During antenatal classes, I told the doctors that the last time I gave birth was 15 years ago and they predicted that I would give birth through caesarean section but I refused . I told them that the only reason I would accept was if there was a complication . ”

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