Diana in Vietnam

diana
First Name: Diana
Last Name: Wanjiku
Age: 23
Programme: Global Community Development Programme (GCDP)
University: Vesalius College Brussels
Country of Internship: Vietnam

Mai Hoa Shelter: HIV Care Center

This is only a fraction of my wonderful experience but certainly the most life changing.
“Don’t be scared to shake the hand of a client with HIV or to drink out of his/her glass. You cannot get infected that way.” Although I have been deeply involved in researching and teaching about STDs and how to prevent them, I couldn’t stop the voices in my head. This was the very first time I was getting up close and personal to actual HIV/AIDS patients.
Somewhat excited and nerves at the same time, I knew this trip was going to be a life-changing experience.
On arrival, we were greeted by one of the nurses who showed us around and gave a brief summary of the day-to-day activities at the center. We soon found out that Mao Hoa Shelter was the only HIV care center in Vietnam and it is founded by the Catholic Church.
I took advantage of this opportunity to ask the myriad questions I had. We soon gathered in a circle (both the interns and patients) to share. A great majority seemed frail, sickly and emotionally drained but to my surprise, they were pretty cheerful once they warmed up to us. They all introduced themselves, some explained how they contracted the disease and how they eventually ended up in the facility. The stories were beyond my comprehension, sad but I had to put up a brave face since no one likes a pity party. One particularly caught my attention. He spoke quite eloquently and seemed rather calm and collected despite his situation. They all had one thing in common; desperate and hopeful to see another day and perhaps get the medical and metal assistance they need to enable them integrate back into the society.
Shortly after the touching sharing session, we were taken to both the ladies and gents wards to see the weaker and bedridden patients who could not join us for obvious reasons. On our way there, we walked past the kitchen were group of able-bodied patients were helping with the lunch preparations. They were kind enough to offer us delicious Vietnamese fried cassava.
Tear-jerking is an understatement of the experience once we walked into the first ward. All the patients looked so helpless but could still afford a smile. “How can one be strong enough to smile knowing every well that death looms around the corner?” I asked myself.
All in all, I am glad to say that conditions at the center visibly good. It is a surreal and calm environment with fresh air, trees and beautiful flowers; far way from the hustle and bustle of the city and they are making sincere and surprising efforts to help the patients.
I wish all the patients well in their journey to recovery and hopefully all of them will soon be able to reunite with their families and continue their careers. I pray that more well wishes will continue to support the center to ensure its existence and effective running. Finally I will forever hold this experience and the people I met close to my heart and lift them up in prayer. My hope is that people will realize that with all the medicine out there, Hiv/Aids is not a death sentence, it s like any other disease.
Get tested… KNOW YOUR STATUS!

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

UN ‘prioritizing needs’, ramping up aid, as Hurricane Dorian continues to batter the Bahamas

Tsipras imposes more austerity on insolvent Greece; plans to win new early election soon

Drug laws must be amended to ‘combat racial discrimination’, UN experts say

This cheap, 700-year old solution could change billions of lives

EU, Brazil to hold high level Summit in Brasilia

Intel @ European Business Summit 2014: Better decisions now, the new business dashboard 

Burkina Faso: Dozens killed in clashes, UN chief condemns attacks

How cultural understanding can help in the cultural shock

Chart of the day: These countries have the highest share of electric vehicles

Act now to end violence, Zeid urges Nicaraguan authorities

The undead banks

Estonian Prime Minister Ratas: Europe is a thought that must become a feeling

Central American migrants must be protected, urge UN experts

Hollande protects the euro from the attacks of extremists

Do the giant banks ‘tell’ Britain to choose a good soft Brexit and ‘remain’ or else…?

UN cooperation with League of Arab States ‘pivotal’, UN chief tells Security Council

“At the Environment Assembly citizens expect clean, not hot air”, the Head of UN Environment in Europe underscores in a Sting Exclusive

OECD economic scenarios to 2060 illustrate the long-run benefits of structural reforms

Climate change is a security threat. We must act now

Israel is joining forces with Arab states to save coral from climate change destruction

How technology can help India breathe more easily

Climate change and health: creating global awareness and using earth resources wisely

These countries are pioneering hydrogen power

Syria: A bloody tracer of Trump – Putin rapprochement

How ‘small’ is Europe in Big Data?

“The Arctic climate matters: to what degree?”, a Sting Exclusive co-authored by UN Environment’s Jan Dusik and Slava Fetisov

EU Parliament: It takes real banks to fight unemployment and recession

Aid funding for Occupied Palestinian Territories at ‘all-time low’

At UN, Middle East countries discuss steps towards regional nuclear-free zone

‘The green economy is the future,’ UN chief says in Beijing, urging climate solutions that strengthen economies, protect the environment

Building an Inclusive ICT Innovation Ecosystem

UN must provide redress for minorities placed in toxic Kosovo camps, says rights expert

This South Korean company has built a 5G search and rescue airship

Trump badly cornered at home by agribusiness and steel consumer lobbies: Trade

Whose interests are protected by the new Mortgage Directive?

Why Indian students are going abroad to become Doctors?

MEPs to debate priorities for 28-29 June EU summit

The world is getting angrier, according to a new poll

International Literacy Day: What you need to know about youth literacy

Intensified Al Qaeda and ISIL activity in Yemen ‘deeply worrying’, says UN Human Rights Office

Banks suffocate the real economy by denying loans

The JADE Spring Meeting is about to begin

Record-high number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan: UN Report

Chauvinism and xenophobia will lead to global assertiveness and more wars

Cities will lead the electric transport revolution. Here’s why

The miserables and the untouchables of the economic crisis

The G7 fails to agree on growth but protects the big banks

UN chief urges ‘maximum restraint’ following policy shift over northeastern Syria

‘Emulate his example’ urges UN chief as world celebrates Nelson Mandela: a ‘global advocate for dignity and equality’

ECB’s Draghi favours a cheaper euro to serve all Eurozone countries

African migration: what the numbers really tell us

Children in crisis-torn eastern Ukraine ‘too terrified to learn’ amid spike in attacks on schools

Half of all mental illness begins by the age of 14

UN Security Council urged to act against ‘worst-case scenario’ Syria’s war-battered Idlib

What will Germany look like after the next election?

China is adding a London-sized electric bus fleet every five weeks

How start-ups will lead India through the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Entrepreneurship’s key to success showcased by a serial young entrepreneur

International Women’s Day: Where does she belong?

‘Ground-breaking innovation’ needed in cities, where battle for sustainable development will be won or lost, says UN agency chief

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s