Senyati Baptist Hospital in Zimbabwe used to be a place of healing. With the onslaught of the AIDS pandemic, most of the patients come to spend their final days.
Eva has a serious rash, in last stages of AIDS, confused, incontinent, refuses food, can’t talk. Eva has 1 child cared for by her sister. Eva’s husband, mother and other relatives are dead. Luisa, her caregiver and mother in law, has 7 children and has lost 4 of them. All her grandchildren live with her.
Patient is Fungai. Her caregiver is mother in law is Justina Mugare. Baby Racquel is 1 month old. Fungai is confused, in pain, refuses to nurse child unless forced. Justina has 11 children, 3 have died. She takes care of 9 grandchildren. Justina turns Fungai and forces her to accept the crying baby to nurse.
Stembiso spent 2 days laying on floor @ foot of beds, unconscious. A bed was finally made available for her when another woman went home to die. Stembiso’s husband died last year. She has TB, malaria, HIV. VERY ILL. Caretaker has Bible.
Med student and summer intern Nick Benson examines Solomon. Solomon is HIV+ and in last stages of AIDS. He says he has been in hospital many times—this time to treat pain in his back, diarrhea, trouble eating. Bertha, his wife and caretaker, must help him dress, sit up, eat, relieve himself. Scars on most of his body are from electrical burns in 70s. Her father is caring for their 2 kids, ages 14, 10. They live far out and are unable to check on their family or let them know how they are.
Latex glove are washed and reused over and over.
In corner near wall is older patient Esiria has 9 children. Daughter (left) is Sipelile, has 8 children, their father takes care of them while she is with her mother. They have lost 3 others in the family. Daughter is extremely tender and gentle with her. Esiria is in the very last stages of AIDS—rarely holds food down, sits up with great difficulty, very dehydrated.
Home in village where AIDS pt Voronica is dying, family is caring for her. Caring for her is her daughter Elizabeth Chidhakwa, who left her husband in another village to care for her mom.