East Africa Aid Foundation

Our mission is to provide an opportunity, a helping hand, for those who have little-to-none to live by and learn with. We are a not-for-profit organization founded to assist with the collection of charitable donations from interested parties, multinational corporations, and healthcare organizations to fund educational & healthcare projects in multiple locations in the East Africa region.
Apr 7, 2015

Student Profile

Student NJ
Student NJ

Name of child: NJ

Age: 18 years old at Secondary School

Place of Residency: Kiyuni Mubende

Mother: Age 52 and HIV positive

Father: Passed away

School Status: In school but did not sit for end of ordinary secondary level /UCE examinations due to lack of money for fees and exam registration. Now needs support for fees and registration to sit for UCE exams this year.

Home environment:

NJ lives in abject poverty with her 52 year old mother who is not employed. The family depends on subsistence farming for producing food basically for consumption. Living in a two roomed house made of mud walls with wattle and grass thatched roofing.

Major Problems at home: Inadequate food security at home, lack of income generating activity, and lack of school fees and materials similar to other students being supported at the program.

Student NJ and her mother
Student NJ and her mother
Student NJ at home
Student NJ at home
Apr 7, 2015

Weekly Report 28

Micu on her bike
Micu on her bike

 The past three weeks were busy here at Bagamoyo running a home based care for HIV patients. We had no volunteers this time so I was very happy for my bicycle that was a gift from a previous volunteer. I continued to support our current clients with home visits and acted as an advocate on their hospital visits. We did get a new volunteer for the office; a local young man who is doing testing and counselling with Charles.

Updates on some of our clients;

Patient RMD:

RMD who is suffering from Tuberculosis in addition to his HIV infection was finally started on ARVs (treatment for HIV). He had been too weak before with low haemoglobin and it had been a long process taking almost two months to get him stronger. He had lost 3kg few weeks ago but appeared healthier last week. I continue home visits one to two per week for nutritional support as he is still very underweight. I bring porridge and peanut butter sandwiches. He does not have feelings of nausea anymore and did not want more anti-sickness tablets. On the last visit he seemed a little happy as he has finally started his HIV treatment and the future looks brighter.  His brother (lives together with him and a sister) is building their house much more modern now and hopefully Ramadhani will get a room there too with proper walls and a roof!

M & E:

I was busy with our new family of three. They have a three year old daughter E who is suffering from TB in addition to her HIV that she got from her mother at birth. Her mother M has also been suffering from couching but all TB sputum sample have gone back negative. She also had Penicillin injections prescribed for couple of days that she was due to have at a clinic nearby her house. When I delivered her TB results to her house she reported that she only had one of those injections (out of the three) because after the nurse had injected her into her arm/wrist it had gone swollen and red. I thought it was suppose to be intramuscular injection and not given to a hand so I was a little confused. Her cough was much improved though and she was on Septrin (antibiotic). On her next appointment she requested to start on ARVs but they told her ‘next time’ or’ tomorrow’. She is already almost five months pregnant now and should be on HIV treatment. According to the new guidelines in Tanzania women should start ARVs from the first months of pregnancy.

E had her TB appointment and received more medications. She appears fine and parents report she is eating well now as she was very underweight only 7.5kg few weeks ago. We will re-weigh her soon. I have visited this family twice a week and bring porridge and peanut butter sandwiches to E. Patient M's hand is not swollen anymore. I wrote a letter to the doctors to start her on ARVs as I will not be in Bagamoyo for her hospital appointment next Monday. I will visit her on Tuesday and see how it went. She really needs to be on this treatment but things just don’t run that smoothly here L so we just have to make them run.

 

Patient Z & her children:

I have been visiting this family regularly. Z, our HIV positive young lady with four children (one HIV positive: Dotto 8 year old) has been gaining weight for the past two months and getting closer to her healthy weight now. She also had vaginal discharge and was prescribed Fluconazole. She also takes Septrin but is not on ARVs due to poor adherence in the past. She recently suffered from PCP (pneumonia common with HIV clients) but has recovered. The family’s problem is poverty; they have no income and live with their mother who is not very keen to help. We have been supporting them with basic nutrition for few months whenever we can. I went for a meeting at the house with the grandmother and took Chanzi to translate. I wanted to discuss schooling for the children. She reported that none of the children have ever gone to school. They are aged 14, 8 and 4. I am not sure of the age of the middle brother who is deaf and makes jewellery of shells that he sells on the beach. He possibly has some mental health problems as he has been sexually touching his mother and his four year old sister Mariam for a while. Charles said this has been reported to the police. Their grandmother appeared happy about the children going to school. I organized a meeting for pre-school (African Child Care Centre) for Mariam where I will take her next week. After that we will look into the school for the other two boys. I asked them if they wanted to go to school and they were very keen. Next I will have to find sponsorship for the school fees. Mariam’s school will be 25 000Tsh ($16) per month that includes breakfast and lunch plus uniform 10 000Tsh ($6.5).

Patient Z came to our office earlier this week and asked money for food. Then she told us she had some maize in her house from a farm. We gave her 2000Tsh ($1.3) to get it grained in a machine and the family will have plenty of maize to eat for a while!

New client: Patient E

Patient E attended to our office and complained of lump to her left breast and was terrified of having a breast cancer. She has been diagnosed with HIV. She said that she had been to various doctors in Bagamoyo but no-one wanted to take any action and had told her to go to Dar Es Salaam. This problem had started two weeks before. We had a look at the breast and the ‘lump’ appeared more like a small blister with puss and blood inside. We planned to take her to hospital in Dar two days later but fortunately one doctor friend of Charles came by and invited her into his clinic at Muhimbili Hospital in Dar. She attended the clinic next day and her lump was cut open and the puss taken out. We are waiting her to visit us for the feedback.

Patient ABD:

Our orphan boy who started school in Dar Es Salaam last January had a week holiday and came to Bagamoyo. He was happy to see his friends here. He complained that he had still not started English lessons at GOIG School only making carpets. I contacted the school and they promised to have English lessons from next term (March). Abdallah has become grown up and more independent. He appears in good health and is taking his medications (ARVs) without prompting.

We also ordered soya powder to give to patients for extra protein. It also contains calcium, potassium and vitamin A, B1, B2 and B5. It is suppose help for high blood pressure and be excellent nutrition for pregnant women. It can be added to any cooking e.g. porridge or tea so it is easy for the patients to use.

Children of patient Z
Children of patient Z
Feb 26, 2015

UKUN Volunteer Diary (Week 27)

The past two weeks here in Bagamoyo we continued our home-based care program with Mathilde; our Danish committed volunteer. I got sick first time with Malaria and was not able to work for four days. We got new referral of a family with a small sick child who we started to give our full support. Some of our patients were very sick and unfortunately we lost two lives L

 Updates on our patients:

Patient RMD:

Patient RMD has been our patient for over a month now. He is severely malnourished with military TB and newly diagnosed HIV infection. He has been suffering from pain to his hip and legs too. We finally managed to get X-ray done to his hips at Bagamoyo Hospital but this showed nothing and doctors think these pains are due to his TB. Doctors prescribed Diclofenac (pain relief) injections for few days, which I administered at his home. His mobility improved slightly after these and he is able to walk longer distances again. He is not eligible for ARVs due to his low Hb (haemoglobin). We have been supporting him with extra nutrition; porridge and peanut butter sandwiches but he does not seem to put on any weight. His brother says he often vomits after food. I gave him some anti-sickness tablets to take before meals. He is due to go back to hospital next week to have his Hb re-checked and see if he would finally be eligible for ARV treatment for HIV.

Patient SD:

Patient SD was a young man who had been suffering from distended abdomen and right swollen leg. Last week he lost his life due to liver cirrhosis. He had had a poor adherence to his HIV treatment in the past year. He had abdominal ultrasound scan that showed fluid in abdomen and enlarged spleen and liver cirrhosis. We took him for more investigation to private hospital in Dar Es Salaam where he had liver function test and hepatitis test done as they are not available here in Bagamoyo. Hepatitis test came back negative but his liver appeared very bad. We took him back to his doctors at Bagamoyo Hospital and they decided to admit him for more investigations. They prescribed diuretics to get rid of the fluids in his abdomen but this medicine was not available. We managed to get hold of it the next day and Mathilde went to take it to the hospital but only to find out that Saidi had been discharged home. He had been given a referral form to go to Muhimbili Hospital in Dar Es Salaam. He was in a lot of discomfort with his abdomen and was not able to eat for days. The next day I took him to Muhimbili and he was admitted to medical ward to have more investigations. Few days later I visited him and he had not been given any medicines or had any scans done. I purchased the diuretics (that the doctors finally prescribed) from outside pharmacy as they were not available at the hospital. He needed a lot of them (Spirinolactone) and they were not cheap. Saidi’s mother had moved to stay in Dar Es Salaam so that she could visit his son daily. I kept calling Saidi daily and he reported that he had only been given two tablets of ‘something’ every morning even the dose should have been six tablets due to the severity of his liver cirrhosis. Few days later I visited again and he was in coma. He had been like that for 24 hours. I spoke to the doctors and they told me he had had a scan that showed his liver had shrunk to a tiny size and was at the end state. He had a drip of saline and nasogastric tube for feeding. He was not alert anymore. His mother looked very worried and sad. Two days later he died early hours in the morning. Saidi was young man with a one year old child. His rapid decline in health came not only to us as a surprise but to himself too. This was a very sad strategy.

 

Patient SAL:

Our fairly new client SAL also lost her life at the same morning as SD. She had been diagnosed to have HIV only a month ago. She was suffering from severe malnutrition, urine infection and malaria. We were treating her at home with fluids and nutrition and at times it appeared that she was getting better. On her last visit to Bagamoyo Hospital doctors wanted to send her home with only multivitamins but I told them it was not enough and she was not getting any better. She was severely dehydrated, malnourished and had fevers. She then had blood and urine test done at the hospital and she was found still to have malaria. Salima was admitted to medical ward and given malaria medication and fluids via drip. Next day she was finding difficulties to breath but hospital could not give oxygen because there was no electric in Bagamoyo for two days and the oxygen machine had to be plucked in. The hospital did not have portable oxygen with a cylinder. This was so frustrating and I was trying to sit her up for a better breathing. Staff just stood there waiting for electric to come. We could wait for weeks, no generator at the hospital! Electric did not come back and she died early hours next morning. This was extremely sad. She left four young children behind who are now orphans. She was only in her early thirties. I attended Salima’s funeral and her mother approached me there. She wanted all Salima’s children to be tested quickly for HIV so that they could be treated if any of them were found positive. The family does not want another strategy like Salima. We arranged this with Charles and he promised to test them next Wednesday afternoon at their home.

 

Patient ZNB:

Zainabu our elderly HIV positive lady had got sick with a cough and was now treated with strong (and expensive) antibiotic for chest infection. Her third TB sample also came back negative. After a week I visited her but she was not home and either was her daughter Hadija (also HIV positive). Her neighbours reported that Zainabu was already feeling much better and had gone to work with Hadija. I told them to send my regards and to call me if she gets any problems. We did not hear from them last week.

 

Patient ZN:

ZN is HIV positive frail young lady with three young children. Her son Dotto of 8 years is also HIV positive. ZN has had compliance issues with HIV medications for years and is known to be big challenge for all people who have tried to help. Now she had been sick with PCP (pneumonia) and she has recovered well. She has put on over 7kg and is eating well! She had another hospital appointment where she went with Charles and Mathilde but she still was not given ARVs and they sent her home with more Septrin (antibiotic for PCP). She also reported having vaginal discharge and I sent her to the hospital to see a doctor. She was prescribed antibiotics for this.

The family is stigmatised and have no income so we keep supporting them with nutrition like porridge, beans and rice. It has also come to my knowledge that there are other issues with the children. I am looking for a nursery now that can take the four year old daughter and a school nearby for Dotto. ZN appears to have no control over her children; they do what they like and do not respect their mother. Dotto has not been taking his ARVs again. Their grandmother who they live with also takes no responsibility of their health.

 

New patient: Patient M and EV

Charles received a referral for a family of three. All of them; mother M, her husband and their daughter EV of 3 years are HIV positive. Evelyn was also diagnosed with TB last year and is still on treatment. She had not been taking the TB treatment for two weeks so there are compliance issues with the parents as they are responsible for Evelyn. Charles and Mathilde did a home visit and EV’s weight was found to be only 7,5kg. Mathilde took some nutrition for her; porridge, peanut butter and milk. Mother M was at home and she appeared well and in healthy weight. Her husband was at work. Few days later we visited again and this time Martha complained that she had had a cough for couple of days. Mathilde took her to the hospital next day and Martha gave sputum sample for TB. She was prescribed ChrystaPen injections to reduce coughing (that contain Penicillin), antibiotics and cough syrup. The injections were to be administered at the clinic near to her home. Her TB results should be ready by Monday. We will do frequent home visits to support EV with nutrition and make sure she finishes her TB treatment properly.

 

Patient CPT:

Mr. CPT is our long term patient who depends on us due to his poor mobility and stigma from his family. He has not been able to walk for years. He has a wheelchair and can now independently transfer from bed to chair as his arm muscles have grown. We keep doing exercises to his legs on our visits (twice per week) but they are weak still. Mathilde showered him and did his laundry last week by herself when I was suffering from Malaria, which was a great effort J We keep bringing him 6 litres of clean drinking water once per week and extra nutrition twice per week. His family are still the same; not willing to help at all and often lets him go hungry. Those visits we make are his lifeline and he would not get out of his room or to have a wash without us. If there were nursing homes in Tanzania I would pay him to be taken care of by some lovely people who would spoil him every day. He deserves better.

 

Patient ABD our orphan boy who started school a month ago came to visit us in the weekend. He was very happy to see all his friends. He stayed at our office for the weekend and Monday he will go back to school after picking up his ARV medications from Bagamoyo Hospital. He complained that they were still not teaching him English but he was hopeful that they would start soon.

Mathilde said her goodbyes to us last Sunday. It was great to have her here again. For the next few weeks there will be no volunteers until March sometime. Luckily I received a lovely gift from ex- volunteer Kirstine; a bicycle! This has been a great help for home visits to patients; much less time spent on travelling and more time with patients- super!

 

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