Keith Mwithiwa Now an HIV/AIDS Fighter

Keith was one of our beneficiaries who after finishing secondary schooling, did a B Sc - Nursing & Midwifery.  However, after a few years of practicing as a mid-wife has decided that his calling is to work in  the fighting of HIV/AIDS. Keith said that in fact it was his childhood dream to work in this sector. This dream came to him when he saw the whole of his Aunt’s family of four being wiped out by the virus. Keith said that “he loved them so much but he had no knowledge of what HIV/AIDS is all about and all the types of care required. Hence today, having learnt and been exposed to more knowledge of the virus, I serve my clients willingly and happily as a compensation to these lost people”.

Keith is now working for Malawi AIDS Counseling and Resource Organisation (MACRO). It is a non-governmental organisation based in all regions of Malawi solely to fight against HIV/AIDS. Its aim is to try to reach the UNAIDS 90-90-90 goals. It is also regarded as the first organisation in Malawi to start fighting against the  HIV virus and development of AIDS syndromes in persons as far back as the 1990’s. Keith is working as an ART Nurse (Anti-retroviral therapy drug prescriber) because of his training in the field.

Keith is also working as a linkage nurse which he enjoys most. In fact, he spends 80% of his working hours doing that. Being a linkage nurse means that he follows up with all the patients, first testing if they have the virus, then giving counseling and finally starting them on ARV drugs. He then has to  follow-up with patients to make sure they will come for further appointments and to see to it that they take their drugs in a timely manner. Keith says that it is a psychosocial activity that needs humanity and understanding of each patient while at the same time considering their health and well- being. 

Keith is now in charge of two clinics. In his team are 35 health professional and other staff. This includes clinicians, registered nurses, medical assistants, nurse technicians, health diagnostic assistants and registry clerks.

Keith  said that as he is a youth with a flexible mind, he is keen to bring some changes to the system. One of the changes he has spearheaded is the adoption of differentiated model of care, hence the Teen Club was formed. Previously, there were adolescents and adults with HIV who were treated in the clinic on the same day. The adolescents were disadvantaged by this system and it was affecting their responsible transformation into adulthood. Hence adoption of a teen club to address this problem. (HIV Teen club is a peer support group and information sharing forum for adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV). Its mission is to provide a safe, welcoming, nurturing environment for ALHIV to build strong supportive relationships, increase self-esteem, and to develop and reinforce good habits).

Keith says “So I hold this activity on the last Saturday of each month in which I have so much fun relating to these kids.

In his spare time, Keith likes to write poems, read books and go enjoy scenery in the countryside. Keith is getting married on December 1 at the Bangwe Evangelical Church. Fochta would like to congratulate him and his bride Carol wholeheartily and to wish them every happiness in future. 

Following is a poem he wrote for his then university friend Hannah who after getting pregnant (not by him) was extremely miserable, spent days crying, starving herself and wanting to have an abortion. Apparently this poem that was dedicated to her gave her courage to carry on the pregnancy. Later, a ‘bouncing’ baby was born and her boyfriend was very happy too.

Courage Hannah

It pains…pains…and pains

      To feel what others don’t feel

           To see what others don’t see

               To experience what others don’t experience

         It really pains.

Walking a mile alone it’s unbearable but endurable

         Speeding a thicket of fog it’s freezing but amazing

              Parachuting a hurricane its wetting but heroic

       But it all needs courage

That disturbed future

         Those wasted seconds that multiplied to hours, then days

            Missed exams, agonizing nights full of nightmares and pains

                They attract a heart of give up,

           But don’t give up

Courage Hannah.


Posted on: Thursday, 29 November 2018 at: 2:57 pm
Filed under: Malawi news