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, 8 May 2009

Young, single and ... (Updated)

I wasn't on clinic duty this week but when I went to our center yesterday, I was told by my colleague who was on duty on Wednesday, that they couldn't think of anybody else but me to be assigned to a new client they met.

Uh, oh... I already have the longest list of clients amongst all the volunteers, and yet they're adding more? Never mind, I think what I'll do is to hand over a few of my less problematic clients to other volunteers so I can concentrate on the problematic ones. The fact that my colleagues who were on clinic duty said they couldn't think of anybody else; only meant that this new client must be a problematic one.

True enough, this new client, who is young enough to be my daughter (she's 19) was crying when my colleagues met her at the clinic. Wow! My youngest adult client ever. The only younger clients I have are children - where my contacts are basically through their mothers. But for this girl, it's her I have to talk to and be a friend to.

Well, I haven't met or even called her yet. Usually we'd call our newly assigned clients within 2 weeks from the date of the first contact at the HIV clinic. But for this young girl, I'd better call her soon. Maybe by tomorrow.

You see, this girl, Sharifah, is not only young and single. She's also.... pregnant!

Oh dear, no wonder lah they passed the case to me. Despite never being pregnant myself, I have been handling quite a number of cases involving pregnant ladies. But for Sharifah's case, just like Zana's, being pregnant and single, and HIV positive to add, there are a whole lot of other problems involved.

From the basic info I managed to get from my colleague who spoke to Sharifah at the clinic, Sharifah is a student at a private college. She hails from another state, and her parents know about her pregnancy. While her mother is willing to accept her back and take care of the baby when she delivers, her father is not on talking terms with her. So I'm not too sure yet how the arrangement is going to be after she delivers.

Right now she's not staying with her parents because she's studying here in Ipoh. She's staying with a group of girls studying in the same college. They had no problem having her as their housemate earlier on despite knowing of her out-of-wedlock pregnancy, but after they found out that she was diagnosed HIV positive, they began boycotting her. They are scared to even use the same toilet with her. Thank goodness one of her housemates is rather sympathetic, so for the time being, this friend is her pillar of strength. That's the only friend she has for now.

Hmmm... maybe we Buddies need to find a way to give a talk on HIV/AIDS to students of that private college. Maybe we can approach the management of the college. Obviously awareness on this subject is still very poor.

Anyway, I'd better call Sharifah and arrange to meet up with her so we can have a heart to heart talk. She may have done a huge mistake in her life, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't care about her well being.

So yeah, I think I'll call her today or tomorrow. Hmmm... do I tell her to call me makcik or what??!

*Update: I managed to get hold of Sharifah today. Not wanting to call at the wrong time in case she was in a class or something, I sent her a text message around 5 pm, introducing myself and asking if we could meet up anytime soon. After an hour her reply came - telling me she needed to go back to her hometown today as she had just been dismissed from her college. I am not too sure if the dismissal was due to her HIV or her pregnancy or both. She was already pregnant when she first registered at the college... but she may not have declared her pregnancy then - I don't know for sure, I didn't get to meet her to have a heart to heart talk. However, I offered my help and told her to inform me if she needed assistance. She promised she'd call me back.


mamasita said...

Hai Pi.
its very sad to hear of such a predicament.

Did she confess from whom she got it so that others can be warned from that particular carrier?

Who knows he may continue to infect other young girls who may just want to have a bit of extra fund/fun.

Pi Bani said...

The boyfriend is a student in an IPTA in another state. Mengikut ceritanya boyfriend ni IVDU. Sharifah got pregnant before she joined the private college in Ipoh. According to her, the boyfriend is taking responsibility and will marry her after she delivers. Ya ke tidak I tak tau lah. Kot janji manis je lebih. Kalau ye apasal tunggu kawan tu beranak, kawin le awal-awal lagi!

Tapi nantilah, I will need to meet up with Sharifah first before I can comment further. There may be some cerita di sebalik cerita di sebalik cerita di sebalik cerita...

MatKool said...

What I concern more is on her current pregnancy. She is just 19. At such young age, especially when this is her 1st pregnancy, we may predict the outcomes of what would happen to her baby. Banyak possibility boleh jadi. Let say kalau dia tak buat proper follow up with O&G Dept, risk of vertical transmission sgt2 tinggi. Skrg Gov Hosp pun ada Zidovudine (Anti retroviral) yg usually in pregnancy cases diberi pada trimester pertama, ketiga, semasa kelahiran and also 6 weeks after. Risk may reduce from 30% down to 5-8%. X sure whether our Gov Hosp dah start with newer protocol of using the HAART (highly active anti-retroviral theraphy) which has been shown to reduce the overall transmission to 1.2-1.3%. So, Mak Su, please advise her to go for close follow up. As far as I concern, umur muda mcm this case sgt2 mudah utk default follow up. Risk of induced abortion pun kena ambil kira. Baby dia still ada chance utk free from the vertical transmission if she really takes good care of her pregnancy.

Pi Bani said...

Whoa! MatKool pun sempat singgah sini? Cool! ;)

Ooops... ish, tak senonoh lah Mak Su ni, anak sedara bagi salam pun tak jawab... wa'alaikum salaaam!

Anyway, yes, I am fully aware of all those, tuan doktor. This girl memang pergi follow up at Ipoh GH (both O&G and ID Clinic) but yesterday tu tergesa-gesa balik hometown because dah kena buang dari college and there's nowhere else for her to go but home. Hopefully her family will not chase her out. I've already reminded her about her hospital appointments and she has promised to call me back. Didn't want to push her yesterday as she was already feeling depressed. I will wait for her call, hopefully these next few days because she's already into her 8th month of pregnancy which means her op is due soon. If she doesn't call, I definitely will call her.

Chahya said...

Hi Kak,
This is sad.
Is there anything I can do to help this girl?

Pi Bani said...

The girl has already contacted me to ask for a shelter home for her to stay when she delivers. I think although the mother still accepts her back home, they still malu with neighbours so need a place to stay sementara waktu lah. Nantilah, if there's anything, I will definitely update this blog.

elara said...

Salam Pi.

No offence meant & with all due respect,biasa bisanye lah,,,kalau x kawin lagi panggil akak..( or Yong le bahasa perak) kalau dah kawin panggil auntie or makcik but auntie sounds younger than the actual age, i reckon.

Pi Bani said...

Sebenarnya I tak kisah orang nak panggil I apa pun, kakak ke... makcik ke... auntie ke... in fact budak kecik panggil I Opah pun pernah dah. Sharifah ni pun dok panggil I akak... but she hasn't met me yet. I rasalah, based on her age, most likely mak dia lebihkurang je baya I.

Salt N Turmeric said...

Tercapai jugak hajat you nak buat the wet tour Pi! I ingat lagi last year you went there tapi not properly attired so takleh buat.