From near death to success

March 31, 2010

Caitlin McQuilling

By Caitlin McQuilling

Anti Mori

Bareisurei, Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh

Jimmy Nirmal, RMF’s HIV/AIDS Program Manager in Jhabua remembers that when Anti Mori, first arrived at Jeevan Jyoti Hospital in Meghnagar he didn’t think she would make it through the night. Tuberculosis, an opportunistic infection of AIDS was rattling Anti’s frail, malnourished body. As Anti painfully swallowed her first dose of anti-retroviral medication, her three young children looked on hopelessly. No one in the room that night thought Anti would be a success story.

Fast-forward 18 months later. Anti is proudly showing me the eggs her new chicken just laid. She bought the chicken with money she earned from a small convenience shop she started with RMF’s support a few months ago.

Anti, or “Anti-bai,” (Anti-sister) as she is fondly called by our staff, has been enrolled in the RMF-JJHSS HIV/AIDS Care and Support Program for over 18 months now. She has been faithfully taking her anti-retroviral medicine everyday and shows up for her scheduled visits to the ART center every month.

When asked how ART has changed her life, Anti, the ever dedicated mother, answers “before I was too weak to work and had to rely on the charity of neighbors to feed the children, now I have the strength to work in the field, to run this shop, and to keep up with the little ones.”

As we speak, Anti’s youngest son is arriving home from school and immediately starts to arrange bottles of hair oil and shampoo on a shelf in the front of the store. All three children are in school and are receiving excellent marks according to their strict mother.

Seeing Anti’s incredible work ethic, Anti was given 3,000 inr ($75) in a grant from RMF and JJHSS’s partner in Jhabua, Pragati, to start a small convenience store in her home. Anti now has plans to save up and expand her store so that she can move it to another building, out of her family’s small 5 foot by 5 foot hut.
Anti’s ART medication.

Anti-bai’s success story is one that RMF is hoping to repeat for more and more patients. By giving patients opportunities to become economically self-sufficient we improve their health status in the long term (by giving them an alternative to backbreaking manual labor) and ensure the sustainability of our program.