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August 1, 2010

This morning I went contact tracing with Mandla Mvese.  What this means is that in the morning Mandla received info on two residents with MDR.  We were sent to their houses in or deer to inform them, their families, and get them all to give sputum samples.  When we arrived at the first house we were met by some children who helped us find the MDR patient’s father–we thought we were going to find the mother but Mandla was pleased it was dad because he thought that this meant there would be a much better chance of getting info to the family and getting then to give samples. After some discussion it turned out that the son (with MDR) was already at COSH at the HIV clinic.  Mandla talked with him, to old him of his new status and that he was at his home dropping off sputum sample collecting cups.  It was not clear just why he had gone to the climic; it is of course possible he had HIV.  But I don’t know.  We left six little plastic cups labeled with COSH and the names of each member of the household.  Mandla will them go back in the early morning to collect them before everyone (and is means children, too) disperses for the day.

We then moved on to the second home much further out into the bush.  We drove for quite awhile and eventually came to a small village.  Mandla knew it well and, after a brief discussion with a neighbor, quickly found the house we were looking for.  The yard was full of children.  At first they darted away but then quickly began inching their way closer and closer to me.  One started rubbing my arm gently and then sort of gently tugging at my arm hairs.  Others soon joined.  They were between 2-7.  They then wanted to touch my hair.  This delighted them.  But they were most excited by photos.  I took lots.  And after each one I would show them and be met with squeals of delight.  They then started to really pose and ham it up.  I had a great time. 

The MDR patient had already been taken to Graytown to the MDR hospital; Mandla was there to get a sputum sample from her mother. The kids will be tuberculin tested.  Grandma was taking care if these six children–all, I think, her grandchildren–because one or both of their parents–grandma’s children–were dead either from AIDS or TB.

We then moved on.             

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