Treatments for HIV/Aids and other chronic illnesses require that patients eat a balanced meal before taking medication in order to achieve maximum effectivity and longevity.
However, this is not possible for many in Buffalo City Metro (BCM) who often don’t know where their next meal will come from.
For two Duncan Village women, Ndileka and Vuyiswa, whose full names cannot be given because of their HIV/Aids status, following a steady, healthy diet is impossible.
They are just two of the scores of chronically ill and unemployed residents who fall under the Hlumani HIV/Aids organisation in Duncan Village.
These residents commonly default on medication because they don’t have food. The two women said they sometimes went for days without taking their treatment, because drinking it on an empty stomach caused them even more pain and hunger pangs.
An early Christmas delivery brought much-needed relief to the women and 70 other Duncan Village residents living with different chronic illnesses when they received food hampers from BCM yesterday.
BCM mayor Xola Pakati arrived at the Baptist Church in the community with a truck full of non-perishable food. The hampers contained packs of samp, beans, mealie-meal, rice, sugar, coffee and tea, juice and cooking oil, as well as nutritional supplement packs.
An overjoyed Vuyiswa said the food parcels would make a “huge difference in her home”.
“They will surely sustain my family and I. I am so grateful for this.”
Pakati said BCM believed the hampers would go a long way in helping those who were impoverished and “did not have anything”.
“We are intending to cover as many parts of the city as possible. With the high levels of unemployment, we have many people who need such assistance. We are looking for Good Samaritans who can help by donating to us, so we can hand food out. We are doing our part, and we call on others to do their bit as well.”
Nosipho Mashologu, one of the caregivers from the organisation, said poverty was a social ill they witnessed every day.
“There is a dire need for food in these communities and we would like government to draw closer to people at grassroots level so they get to see what life truly is like for people who have nothing.”— firstname.lastname@example.org