Today, we would like you to meet Colin (not his real name), one of the 250 HIV positive children in our pediatric HIV care program in Zambia. Colin is 11 years old and lives with his grandma. Last year, he got sick, tested positive for HIV and started ARV medication. To keep Colin from developing full-blown AIDS, it is critical that he take his medicines on time to prevent opportunistic infections that can compromise his health. As part of the pediatric HIV care program, our Project Nurse is counseling and educating his grandmother on how best to prevent infections and take care of Colin. In addition, he is visited weekly by a child health care worker for a check-up, psycho-social counseling and monitoring compliance with his medication regimen. In addition, his grandma has been provided with training in caring for an HIV positive child so that he is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7. At this time, Colin’s health is stable, and he is gaining weight. We are proud of Colin for being an active and playful fourth grader in spite of his poor health last year.
At this time Colin receives food, medicines, weekly home visits from a community health worker, continuous monitoring of his health by the Nurse, and psycho social counseling. In the next few months Colin will start to receive education on prevention of HIV and training in adhering to his medication regimen. As a result of continuous quality care, his health has improved significantly in the last year. We are confident that Colin will continue to improve in health, attend school, and be happy as children should be. Colin loves school and inspire us with his playfulness and energy.
Please donate generously to help HIV positive children like Colin continue to play, attend school, and live healthy lives. And as always, 100% of your donations go towards programs and no part is used for overheads.
Thanks for your support and caring.
Happy Father's day! Help us celebrate fathers by giving a gift of health to an HIV positive child in Zambia.
Power of Love’s pediatric HIV care program continues to provide a comprehensive package of life saving health care services to 250 HIV positive children in Zambia. The package of health care services includes food, medicines, weekly health visits from community health workers, regular visits from the Project Nurse, psycho-social counseling, education in HIV prevention, and adherence monitoring and training for older children. In addition, primary caregivers of children are provided with training in HIV care and prevention. The training program was developed with the help of volunteers from the Harvard School of Public Health and is especially designed for women caregivers in Zambia.
Why do we need to Train Family Members? We believe that the training and support provided to caregivers (most are single moms and many are grandmothers caring for multiple orphans) has played a key role in improving the health of our children. Post training, caregivers are able to identify different kinds of opportunistic infections common among HIV positive children at home and are able to escalate care to the next higher level. Since the child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7, most children to improve/stabilize in health. In addition, once the child has been on the program for 4-5 the frequency and severity of opportunistic infections is reduced.
Impact: As a result of the training, caregivers feel better equipped to take care of their HIV positive children and others in their family. Trained family members builds a stronger community and the ripple effect is huge as caregivers share their knowledge and experience with others in the community.
We are happy that 90% of the children in our program continue to improve in health and are living close to normal lives.
Thanks for your caring and compassion.
Happy Mother’s Day!
The Power of Love team would like to thank you for supporting our pediatric HIV care program in Zambia. As a result of your generosity we were able to add 50 HIV+ children last month. With the addition of these children, we will have a total of 250 HIV+ children who are receiving a comprehensive package of life saving health care services and will do so till they turn 18 years of age. This package includes food, medicines, weekly health visits from community health workers, regular visits from the Project Nurse, psycho-social counseling, education in HIV prevention, and adherence monitoring and training for older children. In addition, caregivers (most are single moms and many are grandmothers caring for multiple orphans) of children completed a five day training in caring for an HIV positive child.
We would like to share stories of two children enrolled in our program last March. These two children are typical and their experiences can provide a baseline for assessment of the impact of our program on the health and well-being of most children.
Theresa (name changed) is 13 years old, both her parents are HIV+ and she is on ARV medication. She is living with her mom, stepfather, and two siblings. Her stepfather does not have a full time job so it is difficult for him to support the whole family. Her mom is expecting a new baby and has been enrolled in Power of Love's PMTCT program to ensure that the baby is born HIV free. Theresa joined our program due to her difficult family situation and poor health. At this time, she is receiving food, medicines and weekly health checkups from our community health worker, psycho-social counseling, and education on prevention of STI’s. Her mom received training in caring for an HIV+ child so she can prevent/identify/treat infections or escalate care to the next higher level of medical care. We are confident that Theresa will benefit from the care provided, will start to improve in health, and attend school.
Cole (name changed) is a five year old boy, and the youngest of three siblings. He lives with his parents who are both on treatment for HIV. He tested positive for HIV six weeks after birth. In 2014, he was very sick due to severe malnutrition and was in hospital for a month. He has been receiving a high protein soya supplement in addition to food, medicines and weekly visits from our community health worker/Nurse. His mom was trained in caring for an HIV+ child so that she can prevent/treat common infections before they compromise his health. We are happy that Cole is showing signs of better health already and has started gaining weight slowly. We are confident that his health will continue improve in the coming months and that he can start school next year. He is an active boy and plays well with his peers.
Thanks for giving children like Theresa and Cole a chance to live close to a normal and healthy, active life.
As a result of your generosity and support, we will be adding 50 new HIV positive children to our program this month. The children have been identified and will be receiving food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services till they turn 18 years of age. The package of health care services includes weekly health visits from community health workers, regular visits from the Project Nurse, psycho-social counseling, education in HIV prevention, and adherence monitoring and training for older children. In addition, their caregivers (most are single moms and many are grandmothers caring for multiple orphans) will be undergo a five day training in caring for an HIV positive child.
Impact of this program: Once the child has been on our program for a few months, the child improves in health (as measured by a gain in weight/CD4 counts), and has fewer missed days from school due to sickness. In addition to improving the child’s health, the child’s family knows how to take care of the child, and other sick members in the family and understand the importance of keeping children in school. In addition, family members begin to come forward for testing for HIV, which is the first step in prevention of this disease. Finally, women on our program share their knowledge about caring for an HIV+ child and become role models for others in the community
Training to Caregivers: The goal of the training is to equip parents/guardians in basic nursing skills and psychosocial counseling so that the child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7. Post training, parents/guardians are able to take care of different kinds of opportunistic infections that are common among HIV positive children at home and are able to identify situations when the child needs a higher level of care. As a result, most children to improve/stabilize in health and have fewer opportunistic infections once they have been on our program for 4-5 months.
Profile of the New Children: Out of this group of 50 children, 33 children are female and the rest are male. The children range in age from two to sixteen years with a majority of them in the age range from 6-12 years and most between 2-16 years. Since most of the children are of school going age, we will ensure that the children attend school and also educate caregivers on the importance of keeping children in school. Our goal is for these children to stay heathy and graduate middle, and high school.
With the addition of these 50 children, we will have a total of 250 HIV+ children on our program. Every one of these 250 children will receive food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services. As a result, most children stabilize/improve in health, attend school and live close to normal lives so that they can grow up to become contributing members of their community.
With your generous support, we continue to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zambia. Our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program benefits 200 HIV positive children directly, and an additional 1200 children indirectly as our trained caregivers share their learning with others in the community.
Training in HIV Care Provided to Caregivers of HIV+ Children
In November 2014, 29 new children were enrolled ( to replace the children who graduated as they turned 18 years old) in our pediatric HIV care program. This program provides food, medicines, and a package of life saving health care services to 200 HIV positive children and training in caring for an HIV positive child to caregivers. Training provided to caregivers ensures that the HIV+ child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7 and a result, caregivers with the help of our community health workers, are able to take better care of the children. The health of the children improves due to fewer opportunistic infections and the prevention of infections from turning into more serious illnesses.
Training Program: The caregivers were trained in basic home nursing and psychosocial care of HIV+ children. The objectives of the training were:
In addition, there were several discussions on the impact of HIV/AIDS on orphans. We discussed how the wellbeing of the whole family is affected by the social, economic and psychosocial consequences of HIV/AIDS. The participants were very interested in these discussions as most families have children who have been orphaned due to AIDS.
All 29 caregivers attended the seven day training with enthusiasm and asked several questions even though very few knew how to read and write. The training sessions were conducted in the local language and the methods used were mostly participatory and involved group work, storytelling and demonstrations. This made it easier for the participants to understand and learn.
To sum: The training was educative and our expectation is that it will be put to use by the caregivers on a daily basis. Since most of the caregivers are grandparents, it is important to refresh their memories regarding what they learnt during training. Hence, caregivers will continue to be educated during home visits by our community health workers.
At this time we are raising funds to add 50 new children to this program. Please donate generously so we can continue to provide quality health care to HIV positive children in Zambia. These services help improve the children’s health so they can stay in school, keep learning, and grow up to become contributing members of their community.
Thanks and happy New Year.
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