Mossia knew something wasn’t right; that’s why she took the blood test.
And then the housewife from Ivory Coast had to wait.
When the results came, nervousness was swept away by a wave of shame – she was living with HIV.
Mossia’s initial reaction was she didn’t want her family to know, certainly not until she had seen a counsellor from Adias, a Tearfund church partner in Yamoussoukro.
That meeting was the start of a process that has brought mental and some degree of physical healing to Mossia.
Staff from Adias, which provides psycho-spiritual support to people living with HIV, helped 43-year-old Mossia to see her diagnosis wasn't a death sentence and that with support, she could still lead an active and enriched life.
New life of hope
Mossia began to value herself and eventually decided to reveal her HIV status to her family: ‘I was born to a new life full of hope,’ she said.
Tearfund’s partner was also there when her physical health deteriorated due to anaemia and chronic malaria, causing her weight to drop.
Unable to afford the special diet recommended by the doctor monitoring her condition, Mossia was urged by her Adias counsellor to eat flour available from a widely available tropical tree.
The moringa tree is an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and protein, perhaps more than any other tropical vegetable, and its flour is used to fight malnutrition and its associated diseases.
After a month of using it, Mossia’s health improved significantly and the flour has become part of her daily diet.
She said, ‘Thank you to Adias for promoting the benefits of the moringa. I pray that God helps Tearfund to continue to support this winning partnership for the poor by valuing indigenous solutions to indigenous problems.’
Our work in Ivory Coast
As well as helping people living with HIV, Tearfund supports a variety of work in Ivory Coast such as improving farming livelihoods, water, sanitation, community health and combating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
In all, Tearfund works with six partners.
Following the civil conflict in 2011, Tearfund has been supporting efforts to bring reconciliation to fractured communities through a consortium of partners and ten church denominations.