My latest little orphan friend is Kelvin, a little three year old I come across on Tuesday after his uncle come to see me. His mother died a couple of weeks ago, leaving him and his two month old sister to be cared for by their crippled grandmother.

There is a big difference between living with HIV (the case now in the OECD countries with access to effective anti retro virals) and dying of AIDS (mostly the reality for the rest of the world with no access to any medical care). Kelvin is definitely in the later, and fits the perfect model of an AIDS orphan who should now be dead himself. Maybe he still won't make it, but at least he will have had a shot at it with his admission to a nearby hospital on Wednesday. He's got advanced pneumonia, a massive thrush infection of the mouth and throat, and is severely malnourished.

After a couple of days care he now has the strength to sit up and seems to like the special therapeutic food which tastes like peanut butter and milk power combined, even if he cannot really eat the local food again yet. His little sister Mary will also be better cared for in the meantime while being breast fed by another relative, but her immune system will be soon exposed real world realities when she is weaned...

Rich people live, poor people die.

Postscript: Kelvin passed away 27th December 2009.


laurie said…
Sobering words from across the globe. Thank you for your honesty, for the story, and a chance to "meet" Kelvin. No adequate words really. "Rich people live, poor people die." The contrast makes nauseous.

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