I am an HIV positive person and have known this fact about a year ago before I moved to Lusaka. Recently, I went to Chawama clinic to register myself so that I could have my CD4 count carried out, to know how my body is fairing and decide, through professional advice, whether or not to go on medication.
When I attempted to go through the process, I was shocked by the behavior of members of staff dealing with people like me. In particular, I was first told that it was not easy to do a CD4 count there. They said the process would take long to conduct. And then they said, about a month, just to discourage me.
Later on, the officer who was attending to me said, in spite of this problem, it was possible to talk to the person booking people for CH4 count and it was up to me now. The officer said, it was possible to squeeze me in, and also do my test quickly and give me results quickly, not the one month issue. To conclude it all, the officer said to finalize everything, this was possible if I I gave them “kang’ono’ (small rebased amount). Imagine!
I refused this offer because, while I had the money they asked for, I felt betrayed by these people who had been entrusted with looking after me. Rather, they left me pretty annoyed. They are heartless, feasting on the hardships of other people, using their jobs to steal from people craving for help. Its like somoenone telling you, “ If you don’t pay me something, I will not do your CD4 count, and if I don’t do your count, you will not know your condition, you will die. So pay me so that I help you not to die”
I cannot accept what is happening there and I can tell that many other people have been cheated out of money to simply access the facility that is provided for using tax payer’s money. I am very disappointed and urge powers that be to zero in on those corrupt officers and remove them from that place, otherwise we will set a trap for them and expose them soon.