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How the Love and Devotion of a Grandmother Saved Life of an HIV-Positive Disabled Child

Bahinda Abraham (Not Real Name), is an eight-year-old HIV-positive boy living with disability in Muyembe cell, Malukhu ward, Industrial Division, Mbale City. 

Abraham’s father abandoned his pregnant mother, leaving her in a state of helplessness. Born HIV-positive, the overwhelmed mother made the decision to entrust her one-year-old child to her own mother, Abraham’s grandmother. She then disappeared from their lives.

On December 25, 2022, the household experienced a turning point when they transitioned from Integrated Child and Youth Development (ICYD) to the USAID OVC NE Activity. The dedicated Para social worker attached to Muyembe cell in the Industrial Division identified the case and the family was enrolled at the community level, ensuring continued case management.

Abraham, a child born with a complete physical disability and unable to speak (though he can hear), found his voice through the unwavering support of both the Parasocial worker and the social worker. They provided constant psychosocial support to Abraham’s loving grandmother, forging a deep bond with the family to eliminate the stigma they faced. The grandmother expressed gratitude for the Activity and commitment to following the sensitization and advice provided by the program to ensure the best upbringing for her grandson.

Abraham began benefiting from temporary food support, close monitoring of the household, and enhanced ART adherence provided by the program made “SINOVUYO,” (joy) blossom within the household. The grandmother, supported by her retail shop and pension, experienced an increase in income. This financial stability allowed her to consistently attend ART and viral load monitoring appointments and provide nutritious meals to the family.

Driven by love and determination, the retired teacher turned caregiver embarked on a mission to provide basic education to Abraham at home, using a language he could understand even though he couldn’t speak.

The caregiver expressed her gratitude, saying, “UWESO’s love for my grandson has restored hope and happiness. I used to keep him in a bedroom, but now I can freely move with him.”

Despite facing multiple hardships and neglect, Abraham found a safe haven in the embrace of his devoted grandmother. Through the USAID OVC North East Activity, this family discovered a renewed sense of hope and happiness, demonstrating that even in the face of disability and HIV, love and care can triumph over adversity




Agnes Tumuheire

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