Let's get talking
I hope that you have started year 2010 on a high note! This year we want to make our group the most active and the most vibrant on Pulse Wire. We will begin by exploring Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (for everyone). To kick start this exciting adventure read the short story below. The story is based on a real life experiencealthoug names have been changed.
Noma was 15 years old. She lived in Lupane, ZImbabwe with her mother and father and five younger siblings. She left school at 12 to help her mother look after the other children. Money was always a problem and her younger brother was often sick and needed medication.
An older man from town, a wealthy father, always chatted to Noma when he visited her father. He brought her small gifts and complimented her. Her friends thought she was really lucky to have such a rich man showing her attention. Her mother encouraged her to be friendly with him and to accept his gifts.
When he invited Noma to his house one day, she agreed. In his room he fondled her and offered her money for her family. He said that she only had to have sex with him and then she wouldn’t have to pay back the money. Noma was scared and confused. She had heard about HIV, but he was so smart and well-dressed that she didn’t think he would be positive. She didn’t want to suggest using a condom because he was much older than her and she knew she couldn’t get pregnant if it was her first time. She desperately needed the money because her brother needed an operation. She agreed to have sex.
The money was a great help to the family and Noma continued to see this man for a few months, until he moved to South Africa.
Noma began to feel very sick in the mornings. Her breasts were swollen and she couldn’t eat. She didn’t tell her mother because she was worried her mother would be angry. Eventually, her mother noticed and told Noma that she was pregnant. Noma’s mother decided she would have to get rid of the child because the family were very poor and the man had disappeared. Noma’s mother new a woman who could help them. Noma agreed, although she was very scared. However, her mother told her that it was the only way. Noma was about six months pregnant when she aborted. She started bleeding very heavily. Her parent tried to take her to the hospital but it was too late. Noma died.
Let's get talking!
1. Why did Noma die?
2. Is this happening anywhere in your community?