18 July 2016


Cynthia Dounkel, 26 years old has HIV and tuberculosis and suffers from Kaposi's sarcoma. Photo: MSF

Cynthia Dounkel, 26 years old was referred to Hôpital Communautaire from MSF’s clinic in the displacement camp Mpoko near Bangui airport. She has HIV and tuberculosis and suffers from Kaposi's sarcoma.

My illness started with nausea, fever, headaches and pain in my legs. That’s why they brought me here. I don’t have money for medical treatment so I did not look for help for a long time. When I was admitted a month ago, they told me I was HIV positive and that I have Tuberculosis.

Since 2013 I live in Mpoko camp. My father died when I was little. My husband and I separated a while ago – before I got sick. I have a little daughter who is 3 years old. I don’t have the means to get enough to eat. My mother and my brother are also hospitalized. I don’t have anybody who can take care of me. I’m taking treatment now for Tuberculosis. They say I should wait a bit before I start the treatment for HIV.

I feel a slight change. But I still have a lot of pain, especially in the stomach, and I am constantly tired. I don’t know how long I am going to stay in the hospital and what will happen afterwards. Sometimes I get very desperate. When I brood over it too much my family tells me to not worry and to always pray. I put my life into the hands of God.

Find out more about MSF's work in Central African Republic