Thursday, 22 March 2007

When Society Fails to Listen...


Sigh...

I was reading Pi's TWIST about AIDS and HIV just last night, and I went to sleep haunted by the cries of five babies I once saw and held...

These five babies were the children of drug-user mothers, two of which are HIV+...

Having spent 8 months (five days a week) carrying and feeding newborns, I instantly could tell something was wrong. While other children slept peacefully, with an occasional grunt, these babies were trembling...

I was at first oblivious to the reason behind their trembles, before one nurse whispered to me the real reason why...

I was momentarily stunned...These babies were kept slightly separated from the rest of the other babies, to alert hospital staff and caregivers to be more careful when dealing with them. Not because we were afraid, but so that we would be more careful (when dealing with needles) and also more gentle when dealing with their even frailer bodies, and immune systems...

But I felt bad...It was as if the discrimination against them had started even when they were infants...I knew it was all done for 'their good', but it didn't stop me from feeling devastated...I couldn't help but wonder what kind of future these little darlings would have, especially if their mothers happen to be weak and frail...

The nurses however, showed no difference in their treatment towards these babies...They cuddled them, coo'ed at them and fed them just like any other baby, only slightly gentler...

The hospital kept them slightly separated to keep them safe-r, but would society be that accommodating? The 'slight separation' from the rest of the babies felt symbolic of the kind of future they would have: shunned, despised, misunderstood and discriminated against...

But I digress...

The babies were trembling as a result of the drugs they were passively 'using' while in their mother's tummy...These precious babies were experiencing withdrawal symptoms, some worse than others...

I was angry at the mothers...initially; I mean, even when you're carrying these little humans inside you, you can't stop injecting yourself and butchering your body?

But then I thought, could it be society's fault? What if we had listened more, and judged less? If we had listened more, perhaps we might have heard the cry for help these mothers were sending out...

And then maybe, just maybe, we would have stopped this vicious cycle of drug using being passed on to the children, and we might have just stopped another person from being infected by HIV, and subsequently getting AIDS...One less person in the world to suffer from this devastating illness might mean one less family beign destroyed, one less future child to suffer, and one less generation being tormented...Ultimately, one step closer to a world with no HIV or AIDS...

I wish there was an easy way to stemming this vicious cycle...But reality is such that it's not possible...People like Pi Bani and MarinaM (and many others) are doing a lot in their crusade against HIV and AIDS, but what are we doing?

More importantly, what am I doing?

I spent quite a few days with these babies, and I was humbled before their presence...Everytime I carried them, I was fuming at the injustice in today's world...I was silently crying for the bleak future that they might have to face...And everytime I cradled them in my arms, I silently prayed that the disease would somehow miraculously not infect them, and that they could escape the fault of their parents...

I sincerely pray that God will look upon them in His own special way, and I hope you will join me in praying for them too...

9 comments:

mardhiah12 said...

Hi Daphne...My name is Aini. I just found your blog and interested to know Aisya's progress. Can you just drop me an e-mail at mardhiah12@yahoo.com regarding Shahidan's bank account no? TQ

Mariana said...

Daphne,
Came here from Pi's blog. Heartening to know someone so young is concerned about the prejudice agaisnt ppl with AIDS and good to know that you are matured and sensible enough to realise that Aids cannot be transmitted by touch. I have seen ppl who wont touch a person because they have Aids, and to hear of you carrying a baby with possible Aids is heart-warming. Take care.

Anonymous said...

dont you think its dangerous to be dealing with the babies? why endanger yourself? must be a limit when you help people. dont let yourself die

sankochan said...

Ok, there is SOO such a difference between your blog and mine lor. The English and all.

TO TOOT with those MOTHERS!! Inject those stuffs when their pregnant. NO BRAIN!!! Your gonna whack me later for saying this. BUDUH~~~~

Pi Bani said...

To anonymous,
In what way did you think Daphne had endangered herself when handling the babies? HIV doesn't spread by hugging or cuddling a person...

Anonymous said...

Pibani,I KNOW it doesnt spread by hugging or touching but why even put yourself at risk in the first place?what if you got hurt?I dont understand what you guys think you trying to be great and humanitarian and wonderful?who cares?you not getting anywhere right.who asked the mother to be a drug user?her fault right?anyway, daphne, your'e waaaay too young to be doing all this. carrying babies?!WTF??are you SURE you're 21? 21 year olds should act like 21 year olds and go parrrty!you're not doing society any good by being soo good okay because who cares?I dont

Gobu Raj said...

Anonymous! You're rude thing coming here to attack Daphne and PiBani. Dont you have anything better to do? What have you done for community beside insulting it with stupidity?
To P and Daphne, you keep up your good work; I care and I'm sure Aisyah and all those families!

Daphne Ling said...

Dear Anonymous,

Don't care, don't read lor...I don't do what I do (and I'm sure Kak Pi too) because I want to be some saviour of the world; Not because I want to look like some humanitarian super-soul...

Don't you realise that by reaching out to the community, you are reaching out to yourself? Don't you realise that we learn alot more than we can ever teach; we receive more than we can give?

I've learned a lot, and made many new friends...I won't trade it for the world, and I certainly won't trade it just because you disapprove...

Daphne Ling said...
This comment has been removed by the author.