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.
Oct 7, 2013

UKUN Volunteer Diary (Week 9)

Week 9 was busy again with home visits and another trip to Muhimbili Hospital with Hamisi. Girls did some final touches to the new office and the opening party was set for next week Wednesday. We did posters and put them up at the weekend around Bagamoyo town.

Abdallah appears a changed boy already. The girls gave him coloring pens and paper and he is drawing every day at the office. He draws pictures of himself working and as a big strong man and he says it is him next year! He is still thin but he is slowly building around his waist. We will weigh him soon. He looks much happier and smiles a lot. My sister is donating him 15 euros per month for his food. However unfortunately the hospital still does not have his injections and keep saying ‘come tomorrow’. We have started a food diary on him, which is kept in the office where he writes all the meals he has and snacks.

Tarek informed us that we have a volunteer coming in the summer called William from the US. I feel very happy about that and I will overlap with him at least few days before I go to Zanzibar.

We had a great but really long trip to Dar to Muhimbili Hospital this week.  We left in the morning 6am. We saw the surgical consultant with Hamisi. He explained that all his problems are due to the side- effects to his medications 'Atripla' the second line ARV treatment. He has breast enlargement, tremor and weakness of arms and legs now. It was all noted at 2008 and stopped. Then his CD4 dropped and he was started on them again and the Dr explained that there was no 3rd line treatment so it was a must to continue this. Now his CD4 hadn't been done for a long time and they said if it was high he could maybe stop this drug.

 Hamisi said he was more than ready for the surgery, which would be double mastectomy (removal of both breasts). He will lose one breast totally and on the smaller one they can safe his nipple. Next he had CD4 and haemoglobin checked. Those results will be ready by his next appointment and will determine if he will be fit for this surgery.  After that he had X-ray done. Unfortunately they lost his X-ray request card and we waited there over three hours! By the time we got the pictures the doctor he had gone home. They gave Hamisi a new appointment to go back in two weeks time 16/5. Debbie has offered to sponsor again for the car, which is fantastic news. If he is fit for the surgery he will go on waiting list in Muhimbili. It will be only for the cosmetic purposes they said. As he has no cancer (which is good!) he will has to wait longer of course and he said maybe more than 3 months. The surgery is free. If it is done private he can get it within a week and it costs anything between 1.5-4.5 million shillings. It will be good to put him on a waiting list and while we are waiting we can try to raise the money for the private surgery. 

 We had a new lock fitted to the office because there wasn’t one. This cost 50 000Tsh and was taken from my sponsor money. Girls moved all the furniture to the new office with the help from Abdallah and Charles. The office looks fantastic, we are so proud of ourselves!

We showered Mr Captain three times this week and visited Amina three times for physio. Now Amina is able to get up independently without help from anyone; great progress. She is so motivated and happy for our visits. Next week we will finally have the office opening party and volunteer Hannah arrives, who has a vast experience of running projects in Uganda previously. I am hoping she will help us to sort out UKUN’s financial situation and structure.

 Week 9 was busy again with home visits and another trip to Muhimbili Hospital with Hamisi. Girls did some final touches to the new office and the opening party was set for next week Wednesday. We did posters and put them up at the weekend around Bagamoyo town.

Abdallah appears a changed boy already. The girls gave him coloring pens and paper and he is drawing every day at the office. He draws pictures of himself working and as a big strong man and he says it is him next year! He is still thin but he is slowly building around his waist. We will weigh him soon. He looks much happier and smiles a lot. My sister is donating him 15 euros per month for his food. However unfortunately the hospital still does not have his injections and keep saying ‘come tomorrow’. We have started a food diary on him, which is kept in the office where he writes all the meals he has and snacks.

Tarek informed us that we have a volunteer coming in the summer called William from the US. I feel very happy about that and I will overlap with him at least few days before I go to Zanzibar.

We had a great but really long trip to Dar to Muhimbili Hospital this week.  We left in the morning 6am. We saw the surgical consultant with Hamisi. He explained that all his problems are due to the side- effects to his medications 'Atripla' the second line ARV treatment. He has breast enlargement, tremor and weakness of arms and legs now. It was all noted at 2008 and stopped. Then his CD4 dropped and he was started on them again and the Dr explained that there was no 3rd line treatment so it was a must to continue this. Now his CD4 hadn't been done for a long time and they said if it was high he could maybe stop this drug.

 Hamisi said he was more than ready for the surgery, which would be double mastectomy (removal of both breasts). He will lose one breast totally and on the smaller one they can safe his nipple. Next he had CD4 and haemoglobin checked. Those results will be ready by his next appointment and will determine if he will be fit for this surgery.  After that he had X-ray done. Unfortunately they lost his X-ray request card and we waited there over three hours! By the time we got the pictures the doctor he had gone home. They gave Hamisi a new appointment to go back in two weeks time 16/5. Debbie has offered to sponsor again for the car, which is fantastic news. If he is fit for the surgery he will go on waiting list in Muhimbili. It will be only for the cosmetic purposes they said. As he has no cancer (which is good!) he will has to wait longer of course and he said maybe more than 3 months. The surgery is free. If it is done private he can get it within a week and it costs anything between 1.5-4.5 million shillings. It will be good to put him on a waiting list and while we are waiting we can try to raise the money for the private surgery. 

 We had a new lock fitted to the office because there wasn’t one. This cost 50 000Tsh ($30USD) and was taken from my sponsor money. Girls moved all the furniture to the new office with the help from Abdallah and Charles. The office looks fantastic, we are so proud of ourselves!

We showered Mr Captain three times this week and visited Amina three times for physio. Now Amina is able to get up independently without help from anyone; great progress. She is so motivated and happy for our visits. Next week we will finally have the office opening party and volunteer Hannah arrives, who has a vast experience of running projects in Uganda previously. I am hoping she will help us to sort out UKUN’s financial situation and structure.

Oct 7, 2013

UKUN Volunteer Diary (Week 10)

This week was busy with organizing opening party for Wednesday and several visits to Mr Captain.

Charles had gone to the villages around Bagamoyo with people who had come to audit and assess UKUN’s previous projects. I and the girls together with local volunteer Ally organized opening party for Wednesday.  We also had so many of our friends (local guys/volunteers) to help us with the preparation; gardening, cleaning, decoration and entertainment, which was music with drums and guitar. We had refreshments and snacks and free condoms. We had at least 20 local people (outsiders) to visit plus all friends and friends of friend's as well as our client Hadija our client. Ally took charge of the party and did the opening speech. After this we had questions and answer time with locals and it was also a great success. It was better to have someone local to do it in Kiswahili to reach to all the locals. Abdullah got to do the ceremony of cutting the robe.  We finished sunset time and had a celebration beer with all the volunteers after in a local bar.

Unfortunately Mr Captain suffered from diarrhoea half of the week so we ended up showering him five times and doing his saturated laundry. It was hard work with the girls and Mr Captain felt so ashamed. He got some medication and it got resolved by the end of the week.

We visited Amina to do some physiotherapy and she is doing great.

We are planning to find a local nurse to take charge of the home care whilst I am not here in July and August.  We could not get hold of the numbers we were given by Tarek and plan to visit the hospital for this next week. We have a volunteer coming from CCS (Cross Cultural Solutions) beginning of next month for three weeks and another one called William, who is coming end of June for six weeks. Our Facebook page ‘Every Little Helps’ is a great success. We have 150 likes now and more sponsor money coming in for the patients. We keep putting pictures and updates up of our daily work. The girls are really good with the camera!

Mariam had her appointment on Monday but I did not take her as there were no changes with her condition and she appeared fine. Her blood pressure was good, 115/80. I and her daughter went to collect more ARVs from the hospital for her and the doctor asked us to bring the patient next month 05.06.2013 to be reviewed.

Next week I will go to Dar to pay the rent for six months for the new office.  Tarek has received sponsor money for this from America.

Oct 7, 2013

OVC Supported Projects (Uganda)

Background to OVC projects:

Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children is provided as per Mildmay OVC Core program areas. OVC support includes food and or/food security provided in accordance with the selection criteria prioritizing the severely malnourished. Using the Mildmay “circle of service providers’ model”, Mug partners with local Community-based Organizations as conduits for service delivery within target populations. HVU is supported by Mildmay to enrol HIV positive OVCs, provide OVCs with nutrition supplements on behalf of Mildmay Uganda facilitate the formation of service provider’s circles and extend Income Generating Activities (IGAs) to OVC and care givers. MUg also promotes the integration of OVC programs into other health services which include eMTCT, mental health, Integrated Management of Acute Malnutrition, Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health and maternal and child health (MCH).

1)     Enrollment of Positive Children for Nutritional Support (August)

  • Nutritional assessment is done for all HIV positive clients and the clinically malnourished are provided with therapeutic or supplementary food. OVCs and their families are provided with nutritional food supplements.
  • In August HVU with support from 8 local volunteers conducted enrollment for HIV positive children and family at Kiganda Health center IV to plan for nutritional supplements distribution.
  • The exercise was done for one week and 80 index (HIV positive) children were registered and of these 48 were females and 32 were males.
  • In total 320 children were registered of which 80 were the index /HIV positive children and 240 were their siblings.
  • 28 out of the 80 HIV positive children registered were between the ages of 14 and 17.

 

Challenges

  • Transport: Mildmay does not support HVU with transport for mobilization and distribution of IGAs and monitoring. HVU operates in far hard to reach communities that are not so easy to access given the fact that HVU does not have a field truck. HVU has been trying to mobilize funds to buy a motor cycle or a truck but so far luck has not come our way.
  • Lack of incentives for local volunteers: HVU works with a team of volunteers in mobilizing individuals and communities and as well as during enrollment and distribution of supplies. Though volunteers do not work for a pay, there is need for them to be motivated through incentives such as transport refunds, lunch allowances and facilitation with communication (air time).
  • Inadequate Supplies: Despite the efforts by MUg to reach families/children infected with HIV with nutritional food supplies, many children and families infected with HIV in need nutritional food supplies are left out. More so a few who receive do not receive enough quantities and what they get hardly take them for two months. The supplies are not regular which are distributed once or twice in a year.
  • Lack of good internet connection. This hinders effective communication and timely reporting to project funders.

Recommendations

  • Mobilize for a field truck or a motor cycle: HVU will continue seeking support from friends and potential funders to see that we can buy a field truck and be able to overcome the transport problem once and for all.
  • About volunteers incentives; HVU will also continue to appeal to potential donors and well wishers to support us with minimal funds to facilitate our community mobilization efforts.
  • Need to have a more regular and well streamlined nutrition support program. There is need for HVU and partners to mobilize funds and put in place a well planned regular program to support HIV infected children and family with adequate nutritional supplements. In many case the food given is not a supplement and it the only food that families can afford to have because many families do not have other food supplies to supplement on.
  •  Need for support with high speed internet connection so that there can be effective and timely communication.

Conclusion

HVU thanks Mildmay Uganda for her continued support to OVCs and HIV positive adults in our community of operation and we remain hopeful that Mildmay will mobilize funds in time and support the enrolled children with the much needed nutritional food supplements. HVU would also like to appeal to friends, well wishers and potential donors/funders to support us in many ways including publicity for our programs, mobilizing funds, technical advice, and donating supplies.

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