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.
Jun 16, 2014

UKUN Volunteer Diary (Week 21)

The past two weeks with HIV project in Bagamoyo were busy with visiting patients and introducing new volunteers to our team. Volunteer David left our team and Charles was still away for another week.

Debbie, an ex- volunteer from UK came back to help us again; for the third time. She is staying three weeks this time and has been a great worker and fundraiser for couple of years now. She just keeps coming back! I have been lucky to have her living at my house and she has become a great friend to me. She loves helping people and brings great new ideas to our team. Another lovely volunteer joined us last week; Kirstine from Denmark. She is staying here for a whole two months! Kirstine came through Action Aid Denmark and stays with a local family with another Danish girl.

That is a great way to learn about the local culture and language here and to understand our patients’ life in Bagamoyo. She is also very keen and full of ideas. We completed our referral forms to UKUN/PHI and gave some to the hospital already. We have also designed a poster to raise awareness about our office HIV testing as the numbers have been down. This is also due to our ‘new’ location so we need to take action to make people more aware. Kirstine also has an idea to advertise in a local HIV magazine or some newspaper here and to paint a big red ribbon to outside on the office wall. Bot girls with Godfrey are also keen to do big promotion day at weekly TopTop market (Mondays) for a free testing. It was done once before few months back and we managed to test over 40 people that day! We have been busy visiting our home care patients and introducing them to our new volunteers with Godfrey.

Morogoro Family:

Newly diagnosed family from Morogoro had some changes for the past two weeks. Mother A left home with baby M to Morogoro for ‘few months’ and G and his 7year old son remained here to be looked after by Mama Ponda’s family.

Apparently there was not enough money to support the whole family in that household so the most sick stayed; father G. We visited him couple of times to give porridge and extra snacks and physiotherapy. He is still malnourished and feels dizzy occasionally but appears a little ‘healthier’. He is now able to mobilise quite long distances without his walker and seems happy in himself. He finally received his referral letter from Morogoro to be able to receive his ARVs here regularly. We will continue our support with him.

Patient HT & AM:

Patient HT and his sister AM appear both in good health. HT came back to Bagamoyo finally after fully recovering from his operation in Dar. We organized a little welcome party for him at his house with coffee and cakes! He received a nice new shirt from Debbie and looks like a new man! He restarted his cigarette business (not such a healthy thing but it was his income for a long time with a good profit before he got sick so he wanted to continue), which we supported with a little capital. AM is keen to start some business too which she could do from home and we are working on the idea. Unfortunately her mum who lives with them, lovely old lady of nearly 80 years got sick with flu but she is on her way to recovery. We gave her medicines for two weeks. Next week we will review her and HT's business. The family really needs an income to survive.

Patient Z:

Patient Z, our new patient, who is suffering from peptic ulcers and reduced mobillity has majorly recovered since we first met her few weeks ago. Her abdominal pains have lessened and she continues to take Ranitidine to stop acid production. She can walk long distances now with her stick and has no problems with toileting. Constipation has also resolved now. Seems like another successful story for our home-based care team. We will continue nutrition support with weekly porridge and review. All physiological observations are stable. She complained a little tight chest but it seemed clear when listening and her respirations were 22bpm but she had done exercise. She has her monthly CTC hospital appointment next Monday and her daughter Hadija will go with her but we will pay for transport (bajaji).

Patient MP:

Patient MP had a good two weeks without problems until today (Sunday) afternoon when I received a phone call from her family. They reported she had diarrhoea. When I got to the house I discovered she had a fever and severe diarrhoea. She had had watery stools several times. Family refused to take to hospital as Mariam was too sick to travel. Blood pressure was 90/70 and she appeared dehydrated. Family found it hard to give any drinks as Mariam was not swallowing properly. I gave liquid Paracetamol and she managed to swallow that. We gave ORSs (oral rehydration salts) to the family to give to Mariam and left them with more liquid Paracetamol and nappies to wear over night. We went back later with Debbie and Chanzi to cannulate her and put up a saline drip over night. She was not swallowing any of the ORSs. We will review tomorrow morning and try to get a blood sample to rule out Malaria.

 

Jun 4, 2014

Scholastic Material Support Program

Background:

Healthcare Volunteer Uganda, through partnership with Mildmay Uganda, started off efforts in 2013 to provide OVCs with support to a minimum package of scholastic materials as a way of reducing school drop outs resulting from poor facilitation and thus promote their education attainment.

Beneficiaries:

Needy school going children (OVCs), girls and boys both in primary and secondary school.

For the May supplies beneficiaries came from the two circles of Bukuya and Kiganda sub-counties respectively. The circles are mapped according to the ART clinics in the respective sub-counties. In the bukuya circle/ART clinic 56 children while 76 children benefited from the Kiganda circle/ART clinic.

Scholastic Materials distributed:

- Exercise books: 4 books of 96 pages per child

- Pen: 6 pens per child

- Pencils: 12 pencils per child

- Geometry sets: 1 set per child

- Foot ruler: 1 foot ruler per child

Challenges:

  • The number of needy children is still big compared to the number of materials HVU receive from Mildmay Uganda. We still need more funding to see that we can increase the number of beneficiaries to at least 60% of those in need.
  • Lack of adequate feeding at school also still affects the performance of these poor and needy children at school. Majority of these OVCs are coming from extremely poor households without enough food to give to the children while going to school, and yet schools also do not have school feeding programs, making these children to study on empty stomachs. This affects the performance in class and as a result of poor results many drop out due to frustration.
Jun 4, 2014

Income Generating Activities for OVCs & families

Background:

As noted in our February 2014, in an effort to promote the principle of sustainability, HVU with Mildmay Uganda, in January 2014 been making an assessment of the possibility of supporting poor households were vulnerable students comes from with income generating activities (IGAs). By enabling families with means of earning an income, these households can become self reliant in the future and be able to support the education of their children other than depending on donor funding that may not be long lasting.

Majority of the households that visited during the needs assessment exercise suggested to be supported with livestock projects such as poultry, piggery, goats, and cattle projects while a few wanted financial capital to start small businesses in the informal sector.

With support from Mildmay Uganda, HVU was supported with 60 goats and 19 piglets towards the IGAs project.

Beneficiaries:

The beneficiaries were HIV positive children and their households. The beneficiaries were put in groups of 6-7 members and 10 groups were formed and supported with goats and piglets according to their need respectively. The 10 groups came from 84 households which had HIV positive children. On average each household had 6 members. Each group received 6 goats. The beneficiaries came from the two circles of Bukuya and Kassanda sub-counties.

Households were also supported with crop seeds for planting. The seed that have been given to HVU for distribution include; maize, beans, and a variety of green vegetables such as carrots, green pepper, tomatoes, cabbages, onions, and sukuma wiki among others. 24 families are to benefit from these seeds. These seeds have not yet been distributed as they came when the planting season was ending and rains had stopped. These seeds will be distributed in June for planting in the coming season that will start in July.

Potential Long term benefits:

The project will benefit 84 households allowing them to rise out of poverty, which will provide for their families' health and well-being. It will provide beans, maize, and other planting seeds to improve on nutrition and income of about 504 orphans and their families. It will train orphans, their parents and caregivers about income generating activities. After getting education, they will be able to meet their basic needs like nutrition, income and health care and lead to a better community.

Challenges:

- IGA supplies still few compared the overwhelming numbers of OVC families that need to benefit from the project.

- IGAs projects need to be supported with technical services such as skills training in good farming and agricultural practices and marketing potentials that Mildmay our main funders on this has not been able to offer.

- Transport for transporting the IGA items to the community for distribution to the beneficiaries still a big challenge.HVU still has not yet secured funding for transport during distribution; Mildmay only deliver to HVU office and does not support with field transport for distribution.

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