THEY WILL ASK thee as to what they should spend on others. Say: "Whatever of your wealth you spend shall [first] be for your parents, and for the near of kin, and the orphans, and the needy, and the wayfarer; and whatever good you do, verily, God has full knowledge thereof." - Al-Baqarah (2:215)

Friday, 22 June 2007

And I thought Fuzi's case was complicated enough...

I wasn’t on clinic duty last Wednesday, but I still went to Ipoh GH nevertheless. I promised Ani I’d accompany her to the medical records unit to find out what happened to her request for her medical report; and after that I had to help get Rashid admitted to Ipoh GH. Rashid was already bedridden and his wife simply didn’t know what else to do.

Anyway, in the afternoon when HIV clinic was over, I dropped by the clinic to meet up with SN. She was not as busy as always so she invited me to sit down in the room (on the doctor’s chair some more!) so we could discuss on some of the patients. I needed to get updates on some of my PLWHA clients while SN wanted to know if I was in contact with some of her patients whom she could not contact. I must add that SN is a very dedicated nurse who remembers her HIV patients by name!

SN’s main concern was Makcik Minah, the grandma. Since we both only have Makcik Minah’s house phone number, neither one of us managed to contact her. I’ve tried calling her in the morning, I’ve tried calling her in the afternoon and I’ve even tried calling her at night. And every time nobody answered the call. Both SN and I assumed that Makcik Minah’s only son may have taken her with him to KL where he works. This is good, really, rather than have Makcik Minah staying all alone at her kampong house. But our worry is that from the last conversation SN had with Makcik Minah, the son still didn’t know about his mom’s HIV. Chances are even now he thinks his mom’s only suffering from illnesses elderly people usually have. Since Makcik Minah’s kampong is quite far from Ipoh, SN finally decided that she’d contact the people at the Pejabat Kesihatan Daerah to visit Makcik’s house to find out where she is. Even if she’s not home maybe her neighbors know how to contact the son.

I asked SN about Fuzi whose CD4 seemed to have dropped. I told her about Fuzi’s difficulty in getting her daughter’s MyKad done. According to SN at least Fuzi has a marriage cert even though it is not recognized in Malaysia. SN then related to me about Hasnah, a 27 year old woman, whose story was even more complicated…

Hasnah’s parents got married in Thailand. When Hasnah’s mom got pregnant, her father simply left, just like that, to God knows where. Hasnah’s mom then ran to Southern Thailand, and delivered Hasnah there - without any birth certificates. After delivery, she brought Hasnah back to Malaysia (don’t ask me how they managed to cross the border without any documentations whatsoever, okay?) and so Hasnah was brought up in Malaysia. I guess Hasnah didn’t go to any government schools; otherwise she would have had problems entering a government school without a birth cert.

Hasnah grew up and got married. Now, without the birth cert, Hasnah couldn’t have an IC either. So she grew up without any identification documents. How on earth did she manage to get married in Malaysia? She didn’t. Like mother like daughter, Hasnah too, got married in Thailand. Rather than trying to solve the problem of not having any identification documents, Hasnah opted to avoid the problem by getting married in Southern Thailand where the requirements are not as stringent. I’m not sure if it was any kind of syndicate, but the marriage sounded suspicious to me as there was no marriage certificate issued – so no question as to whether the marriage was recognized in Malaysia or not. Obviously it was not.

Hasnah’s husband then died of AIDS-related diseases and when Hasnah herself went for tests, she too was found to be HIV positive. Her in-laws took her 2 kids (I’m not too sure if they had birth certs!) and disowned Hasnah. Hasnah now lives with her aunt, the only person for the time being who can testify who Hasnah really is. Well, Hasnah and her aunt better do something now to get Hasnah the proper identification documents. If the aunt dies before that is done, chances are Hasnah’s status will remain as it is for life – no birth cert, no IC, no marriage cert, not a citizen of ANY country. In short, on paper, she doesn’t even exist! If she dies, what is there to report? Oh boy, if ever this case is passed to me, I wouldn’t even know how to start helping her!!

After SN told me about Hasnah, I thought to myself… wow! Fuzi is at least in a much better position. At least she has a marriage cert to show, although not recognized. And she has identification documents. If her children are not Malaysians, they are at least Indonesians. But Hasnah? No matter where she goes, she’s just like a fugitive…

Wah pening… pening…

And this morning, after my bath, I saw a missed call on my handphone. It was from SN. I wasn’t even ready for work yet and she has already called me. (I usually leave home around 9am… after my usual kampong exercise.) SN’s calls would only mean it has something to do with the PLWHAs, so I returned her call.

SN actually wanted me to look into a new case: Another young woman who was not referred to us earlier because her appointments never clashed with my NGO’s voluntary clinic duty. Disowned by her family, left by her husband, two children to care for and no income to support her living. Oh dear, what does she feed her children then?

Since this woman needs to come to the hospital every day for her methadone therapy, whenever needed, SN can easily tell the staff at the methadone clinic to tell her to come up to the HIV clinic before they give her the treatments she needed. Sort of twisting her arm – you don’t go upstairs first, we don’t give you your treatment for today. Otherwise she may just ponteng her HIV clinic appointments. So SN suggested that whenever I am free to come, just call SN by giving one day notice and SN will make sure this woman comes up to the HIV clinic to meet me on the appointed day.

Well, I’d better make arrangements to see her soon, hopefully by next week. I am very concerned about the 2 children. No matter what the parents have done, the children have the right to live a proper life!

18 comments:

Hazia said...

I can't imagine how people survived without an IC. How did she even cross d border?

Since Hasnah didn't attend gov school, is she literate? Her mother was Malaysian too?

simah said...

a non existent person n yet still living and still alive (barely).. i just cant imagine how hasnah is feeling right now... it is a wonder that she has not suffered any major mental disturbances (or is she?)

i agree with u.. whatever the sins of the parents r.. the children has the right to live a proper life.. may Allah help them..

J.T. said...

Hasnah's situation is even more difficult compared to Fuzi. Her only hope now is the aunt. Maybe the aunt has to do some kind of 'surat sumpah' along with completing tons of other documents.

I noticed in many of your cases, when there is no family support, the victims become helpless and life is very tough. Children suffer too.

You have a strong will and heart to do this kind of work, Pi. I am feeling so crushed for your cases.

By the way... what entails your kampung exercise? :)

Pi Bani said...

Hazia,
Hasnah used to live somewhere near the border. Some people have dual citizenship and yest she doesn't have any! As for schooling, I think she just went to sekolah pondok. Not too sure if the mother was Malaysian or not, but I think she is.

Pi Bani said...

Simah,
To Hasnah, this is her "normal" life. I'm not sure how she's taking her HIV infection (I haven't met her before) but living without identification is nothing to her. In a way, it's a good thing her in-laws are taking care of her kids. Hopefully they will have a brighter future.

As for the other woman, will try and meet up with her next week to see what can be done to help the children.

Pi Bani said...

JT,
Yep, Hasnah and her aunt will have load of papers to fill if they want to end Hasnah's paperless life. I hope they will at least take the initiative to start something rather than just wait for problems to arise and then figure a way out of it!

You're right, without family support, life is tough. I guess that applies to all of us, not just the PLWHAs.

My kampong exercise? Yesterday I was mowing the lawn, sometimes gardening, sometimes cutting down the banana trees, sometimes cutting some of the tree branches (got a few rambutan trees at my home... and rambutan season coming soon!) That's how I keep fit... :)

J.T. said...

Those are good 'kampung exercises'. I need to get back to gardening .. someday. This place we are renting does not give much opportunities for that. It will be done one day - in my own place.

In the meantime, it is the gym. Once I start mowing a lawn and pruning trees, that will burn enough calories. :D

Pi Bani said...

JT,
I love all these "natural" exercises. I simply need the exercise. Used to be very active in sports way back in school - hockey, volleyball, table tennis, athletics (middle distance). So when I started working in KL and didn't get enough exercise (except jogging once in a blue moon), I could really feel how unfit I was.

Now that I dah balik kampong and get to do all the kampong exercise, I feel much fitter.

Hmmm... used to play hockey, so I was a hockey player. Now I no longer play hockey, but I do mow the lawn. Does that make me a lawn mower? :)

loveujordan said...

Macam-macm kisah, bila dah jadi macam ni yang kesiannya anak-anak. Harap segalanya tidak menjadi lebih buruk, INsyaAllah.

Pi Bani said...

LUJ,
Kisah-kisah macam ni memang menyedihkan terutamanya anak-anak yang jadi mangsa. Kalau dibiarkan nanti anak-anak ni akan membesar dalam keadaan sepertimana mak bapak masing-masing juga... hidup tanpa arah. Sebab tu kita-kita ni perlu pastikan anak-anak ni dapat peluang pendidikan yang secukupnya untuk bekalan masa depan mereka.

J.T. said...

Funny! I am imagining you on your knees cutting the grass inch by inch.
It is true.. when I don't exercise after a while, I feel listless.

Pi Bani said...

JT,
Me on my knees cutting the grass inch by inch? Haha... yeah, right! Big compound lah... sure sakit pinggang (this one old "lawn mower" la!)

Mai Shahira said...

thanks for sharing all these stories. it made me realize how fortunate we are, and how we actually can offer some help to these ppl. there are still hope for them kan.. keep on writing ;)

Pi Bani said...

Yes Mai Shahira, these stories reminds us to be thankful for all the things we are blessed with. Many of the things they may not have, are the things we have always taken for granted - like an IC for example...

Monster Mom said...

and here i am bloggin about how my kids enjoyed themselves at play zone and what to cook for them...

Only doa yg i boleh sedekahkan for the kids...not forgetting the mum as well

Pi Bani said...

Monster Mom,
And there they are worrying about things which we never even thought would be a problem at all...

Thanks for your doa.

Raden Galoh said...

Memang pening...pening bila baca kisah depa ni...one after another...as usual anak2 jadi mangsa...walaupun apalah dosa mereka...mereka pula yg terbeban begitu...

Semoga Allah mudahkan urusan mereka, semoga Allah memberi kekuatan utk you terus membantu mereka Pi...

Salam and take care.

Pi Bani said...

RG,
Memang bila tiba bab budak-budak ni I memang cepat cair. Kadang-kadang geram bila mak bapak buat perangai, rasa macam tak nak tolong aje. Tapi kalau tak ditolong bebudak tu pulak yang sengsara. So kena tolong tapi at the same time kena tegas jugaklah.