Today I witnessed a miracle, at least thats what it felt like, the kind that brings your emotions right to the surface and makes you tingle. We were visiting communities about an hour and a half outside of Mombasa Kenya with Greg Algood of P&G's Children's Safe Drinking Water. CSDW is also turning their attention to those afflicted with HIV/AIDS and we had been talking about that all week as I have also seen the big connection between water, women and HIV/AIDS. Hearing the story first hand from Greg was cool enough, but "seeing it" embodied made my soul explode. Conversation enroute to Gotani turned to talking about a woman they had met last May while in this region working with World Vision. We were attempting to visit her but she had left to go to St Lukes hospital to get her medications; so we made our way along the bumpy red dirt roads of Gotani. Upon arrival the world vision crew found Zeineb Karissa, a 38 year old woman who was diagnosed with HIV 4 years ago. Since that time she had been on anti-retros for treatment, but when they met her last May, Zeineb was not looking good. Water born disease in the form of diarrhea and vomiting is a scourge to those with HIV, not only are they more susceptable, but the symptioms can be magnified and ravage them, starving them of much needed nutrients and meds. Zeineb was underweight, not eating due to the diarrhea, had open lesions on her face and no energy. Greg and the others despaired at her chances but introduced PUR to her.
The transformation was immediate and amazing. Within a month she was feeling better, had more energy and no diarrhea, and was able to find employment as a home help. She has put on weight, and due to her new income was able to eat better food. This in 6 months! Greg and the others were jubilant at her transformation and I could tell by talking with her that life had been put before her again. She was the last person I was to interview in Mombasa before we left for Nairobi and then on to Kisumu this afternoon, but I can't get her smile out of my mind, and I will never forget her.
"IT TAKES" safe water to transform the life of Zeineb Karissa in Gotani Kenya