Health builder trainer Jabu grew up in a rural area about 100 miles south of Durban. Her mother went to Durban to find work and left Jabu and her handicapped brother in the care of her grandmother who was living on a pension and overwhelmed by multiple children left in her care. By the late 1990s, the situation grew so bad that when Jabu was a teenager, her mother took her to Amaouti, the largest peri-urban slum of the Durban metro area, to live with her. By this time Amaouti was one the cities in the world most intensely affected by the AIDS epidemic and anti-retroviral treatment was not yet widely available so many people were dying. This was a very difficult time in her life. She now lives in nearby Tafuleni with her husband and mother-in-law where they are raising their toddler and teenager. She is deeply concerned about the problems of drugs, crime, corruption and HIV the impacts these have on the youth in her community. She said that even the local satellite health clinic was robbed. Anti-retroviral drugs are sometimes ground into a powder and smoked with or without other drugs to get high.
The good news is that if viral levels are undetectable on lab testing as a result of widely available treatment, the virus will not pass to another person. We equipped Jabu to train health builders to screen, educate and refer for HIV as well as obesity, artery disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. We provided Jabu with chickens, quail and a dome and cages to house the birds as well as an incubator. Jabu has held weekly classes in her home where she has assisted in grading homework, administering weekly tests and teaching women how to do simple point of care medical screening tests. Recently, five women completed the course and graduated. They have expressed interest in training others.
Jabu has a passion to help her community. She is a woman who cries out to God in prayer.
Please join with Jabu in prayer for her community and the problems of crime, corruption, drugs and HIV. May God guide the efforts of Jabu, other health builders and us to make better future in South Africa for the youth of today.