One Life At A Time by Daniel Baxter (Picador Africa) ISBN: 9781770105423
One Life At A Time is Doctor Daniel Baxter’s memoir of treating HIV and AIDS in Botswana.
Baxter is a medical doctor who takes us on a journey to a community suffering from HIV and AIDS. He has to deal with its strong cultural beliefs regarding the disease. They would rather risk their health because of traditions and culture than seek medical attention. His encounters with these people are heart-rending, humorous, educational, and encouraging.
When a ten-year-old girl suffers from AIDS, Baxter goes out of his way to help her. As she makes progress, he learns that she has been taken to her rural home to die in solitary confinement. The community believes that she is an embarrassment and a burden. A seventeen-year-old retarded girl is pregnant and tests HIV positive. She is not even aware that she’s pregnant, let alone that she has the disease, and does not know the father of the child. A 34 year-old man suffers from cancer and AIDS, but prefers to die without taking medication.
Dr Baxter writes about his humbling experience in Botswana’s struggle with AIDS. The story is told with compassion and gives us hope.
One Life At A Time is an emotional read that educates.