The consultation room door opened and in walked a woman in her early 20s, carrying her 14 month old child. She was there to see the doctor regarding her asthma.
She let down the child to walk around the room.
The doctor went through the routine stuff with her.
Stuff like how has she been since the last consult; Were there any exacerbation of the asthma?; Did she need to use her rescue inhalers often; etc etc.
Meanwhile, the 14 month old toddler was exploring the consultation room.
He saw a brightly colored yellow bin with a red top!
He walked unsteadily towards the bin; his mummy was busy talking with the guy in a white coat.
He lifted the red cover from the top of the bin and peered inside.
What he saw delighted his young eyes!
He saw butterflies! Lots of them!
Butterflies with yellow bodies and green wings and long tails with strange red colored liquid inside! The tails end with a strange looking grey colored protrusion!
Fascinated and curious at the same time, the toddler looked at his mum; she is still busy talking to the man.
And slowly, very slowly, the little toddler put one of his tiny arm through the jagged opening in the bin.
He’s gonna get himself one of the strange butterflies!
He didn’t know that the bright yellow bin is known as a ‘sharps bin’.
He didn’t know that the ‘butterflies’ are discarded needles.
He didn’t know that the strange red liquid in the ‘tails’ of the butterflies are the residual blood from patients who have had their blood drawn.
He didn’t know that ALL these patients have a disease called HIV/AIDS.
He extended his fingers and grabbed hold of the topmost butterfly!
He felt a sudden sharp pain on one of his finger!
He was bleeding!
Reflexively he withdrew his arm, stumbled backwards and started wailing!
The mum turned to see what is the matter. So did the man in the white coat!
Both their eyes registered horror!
And that was how Jimbo heard about the youngest ‘needle prick injury’ he has ever encountered!
The child was started on HIV prophylaxis immediately.
And now we wait, and hope and pray.
Wed, 290709 @ 0700