Reading the AIDS statistics of our days for our area is like a horror movie and there are still many who deny the facts, because they think this is the way to prevent panic.
(Source: Daily News, 4 June 1998)
We cannot prove these statistics or estimates right or wrong and we do not mention them to show off with our disaster. We also do not know why our area is considered the worst in South Africa as far as HIV infection is concerned.
When we planned and built Blessed Gérards Care Centre and Hospice in Mandeni, we certainly were not aware of the real extent of these developments. Our main aim was to assist the many patients with all kinds of diseases who are not sufficiently cared for by their families. Now, as we are up and running for nearly two years we realise more and more, that we have just done the right thing, at the right time, in the right area.
Call it a lucky coincidence or divine providence: The AIDS wave is hitting with vengeance and we are ready and prepared with our staff and volunteers, in a very functional and well equipped building, to help those, who would otherwise suffer from neglect on top of AIDS.
It is our shocking experience that many families just want to get rid of their relative suffering from full-blown AIDS. This is a total contradiction to the good old tradition in Zulu society, that sick family members are normally looked after quite well. We found that it is mostly fear and lack of knowledge how to handle an AIDS patient without running the risk of getting infected oneself. Our home nursing care is therefore combined with counseling of the family members, teaching them where and how to be cautious and where there is no danger, so that they can care for their relative without fear and resentment.
This page is part of the Brotherhood of Blessed Gérard - Newsletter No. 15
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This page was last updated on Tuesday, 15 January 2013 12:49:54