Hope is what made me healthy and the new me – Jamillah testifies

The Ngamiani Health Centre remained in Jamila’s life memory as it is where her hope of living journey started.   Jamilah (42) saw the lights of living a normal and healthy life after a long time of scaring and ignoring the idea of going for HIV testing. Jamila largely thought of any possible social stigma something that she never wanted to experience.  

Although she had noticed some signs of being infected with HIV, her inside voice cautioned her not to go for HIV testing.  It was after her husband’s health started worsening, she thereafter went for testing and she tested positive. Little did she knew, Her husband was secretly tested and started using ARVs. One day   Jamila found   the ARVs on his husband car that is why she become so worried going for voluntary counselling and testing.   

With her three adorable children, living in Tanga City, Jamila eventually mustered the courage and went to see her aunt who works at Ngamiani CTC. After sharing her stress with her aunt she was advised not to tell her husband since he had also decided to keep quiet about his HIV positive status. “I started the medication and treatment secretly in early 2012,” she recalls.  Jamila was, however, not happy with the situation. She got the courage and decided to tell her husband. Her husband, who has two wives, positively responded to Jamilah since the situation was also upsetting him. They both accept the situation, she was encouraged to look after her husband who is also diabetic.  After a short time,  her husband health  improved  and  conceived   her fourth child in mid-2019, considering  her situation, she was very much scared  and believe that the baby will not be safe and health  however  the health workers at Ngamiani CTC advised her  well.  

With support from PEPFAR through CDC Tanzania, Amref’s support the PMTC program undertaken by Ngamiani Health Centre, Jamila was able to safely deliver her baby, the baby was healthy and safe from HIV. “I had to adhere to all the advice provided  by the health workers, including appropriate use of  the ARVs and other  drugs as prescribed without missing a single day or dose,” she  explained , “My daughter is now one-year old and very healthy.” Jamila appreciated the guidance provided to her especially of adhering   to self-care during pregnant, good CTC services received at Ngamiani HTC through the valued support from Amref Health Africa Tanzania. 

Ever since, Jamilla enrolled herself into care and treatment at Ngamiani HTC, along with her husband, she has never looked back. They are now good ambassadors in their area, advising other couples that might be experiencing the same dilemma they were in before accepting their positive status. To Jamila and her husband, what is most important is to accept the situation, and know that HIV/AIDS is not the end of life but accepting and live a healthy life.  

NB: Jamila Not her real name 

Amref Health Africa Tanzania, through its five-year Afya Kamilifu project which is funded by PEPFAR through the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) in Tanzania, has been implementing a comprehensive HIV care and treatment program in Tanga region and Zanzibar. In implementing the project components, Amref Health Africa Tanzania has been working with implementing partners and the government, especially government health facilities in carrying out these programs. One of such health facilities is Ngamiani Health Centre based in Tanga Municipal Council. The health center has been pivotal in rolling out comprehensive HIV care and treatment programs.