With your support and encouragement we ended 2013 with a lot to celebrate. Five beautiful babies were born in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program in Zambia! We are truly ecstatic as every one of these babies was born without HIV, despite the HIV-positive status of each of their mothers and siblings. Our success was a direct result of our PMTCT program (Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission) which is a part of our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program in Zambia . We are committed to ensuring that the success of this program continues into 2014 and beyond .
We are also pleased to report that all 200 HIV positive children under our care are in stable health (as measured by stable/increase in weight/CD4 counts). Each of these children receives food, medicines and a package of life-saving health care services. The package of health care services includes weekly health check-ups 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 are provided training in caring for an HIV-positive child.
At this time, we are raising funds to continue to care for and support these children in 2014. Please donate generously as every little bit counts and helps these children stay healthy and in school. As always, 100% of your donations go towards programs and no part is used for overheads.
Power of Love's pediatric HIV/AIDS care program continues to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zambia. The vision behind this program is to strengthen women and grandmothers, so that they can take care of their children and sick family members at home. We do this by providing food, medicines, and a package of life saving health care services to HIV positive children, and training in caring for an HIV+ child to their caregivers. In addition, the children receive weekly visits from the healthcare worker, psycho social counseling, education on prevention of HIV, and adherence training and monitoring of the medication regimen. As a result of this high quality continuous care, 99% of the children are stable and/or improving in health since January 2013. In addition, the improved health of the children has increased their school attendance and performance.
We would like you to meet two children in our program who are doing well at school and have big dreams for their future.
Taonga is 16 years old and is studying in grade 7. She wants to take courses in Nursing after she graduates out of high school. Taonga is happy that her aunt who cares for her is receiving mealie meal (a Zambian staple) and beans from our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program. In addition, Taonga receives weekly visits from a health care worker, psycho social counseling, monitoring and training in adherence to medication, and education in prevention of HIV. We are proud of Taonga as she takes her ARV medications on her own and is working hard at school to become a Nurse.
Mabvuto is 15 years old and lives with his mom and Uncle. He is studying in grade 6, and loves playing soccer. He and his friends have formed a soccer team and they play games with other soccer teams in the neighborhood on Saturdays and on Sundays after Church. Mabvuto is aware of his HIV positive status and has discussed this with his friends and family. He takes his medications every evening at 8 p.m. and goes to the clinic for his appointments on his own. He told us that he learnt about HIV/AIDS in school. Mabvuto loves school and wants to become a doctor.
Our program impacts 200 children and their families directly and an additional 1200 children indirectly as the family members share their knowledge of caring for an HIV+ child with others in the community. The children would like to thank you for your continued support for this program. Your support and donations will provide much needed food, medicines, and health care services to several hundred children in the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia, and help them stay healthy and in school. We could not have done this without you.
Thanks again for your love and support for these children. Have a wonderful holiday season and a peaceful and joyous new year.
Power of Love's pediatric HIV/AIDS care program continues to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zambia. We would like to say a big “Thank You” for supporting this program. Your donation has given the gift of a close to normal life to HIV positive children in Zambia. Please take a moment and treat yourself to this short video which was taken during our last field visit. The children had a lot of fun making origami birds and playing with them. We hope you enjoy the video as much as we do.
Happy Holidays from the Power of Love Team
Power of Love's pediatric HIV/AIDS care program continues to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zambia. The vision behind this program is to strengthen women and grandmothers, so that they can take care of their children and sick family members at home. We do this by providing food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services to HIV positive children, and training in caring for an HIV positive child to their caregivers.
Our Philosophy behind the pediatric HIV/AIDS care Program: We believe that our model of care with its philosophy of “everyone a caregiver” provides the best model of care for an HIV positive child for several reasons. First, we believe that the home environment is best for a child's normal development. Second, many of the health care services needed by a HIV positive child can be provided at home by a trained family member supported by a trained health care assistant/ nurse at a much lower cost than in an institution. Third, there are not enough resources to build institutions for all HIV positive children. Finally, training family members in caring for an HIV positive child, leads to a better understanding and prevention of HIV/AIDS in the community. The ripple effect of this approach is huge and long lasting for the community.
In addition, we strongly believe that in a resource constrained environment, our services should be complementary and not competitive to those provided by the government clinics, with the common goal of improving the quality of life and health of children in the community. As a result, we work closely with the government clinics in Zambia to maximize the impact of each dollar of funds.
Update from the Field: Our Project Nurse sent us an update on the health of all 200 children in our program. For an HIV positive child, we can use 3-4 indicators of an improvement in health. These are weight, CD4 count, and opportunistic infections. Out of a total of 200 children, only three children lost weight or had lower CD4 counts - the remaining children either maintained their weight/CD4 count or increased their weight/CD4 counts. Second, there was a decline in the frequency of opportunistic infections in Sept 2013, as compared to Jan 2013. Third, as a result of the provision of soya supplement to about 100 malnourished children, none of the children were malnourished in Sept 2013. Finally, all children (except one) on ARV’s are adhering well to their medications.
To sum, the health of all children (except 3) has been stable or improving since Jan 2013. The improved health of the children has also increased their school attendance and performance.
Our program impacts 200 children and their families directly and an additional 1200 children indirectly as the family members share their knowledge of caring for an HIV positive child with others in the community. The children would like to thank you for your continued support for this program. Your support and donations will provide much needed food, medicines, and health care services to several hundred children in the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia, and help them stay healthy and in school. We could not have done this without you.
Thanks and have a wonderful day.
The following is an e-postcard from Kai Iizuka, a GlobalGiving Representative in Zambia.
Rebecca aged six is a double orphan living with her grandmother, Mary. The grandmother explained how she is the only one in the family earning income, and supports five to six members of the family by selling small packets of cobra wax colouring for five Ngwee each (about five cents). Having heard about the project after visiting the center, she put up Rebecca as a potential candidate as a beneficiary and was very relieved when she was chosen. The Matero Care Centre helps the family by paying for Rebecca’s medicine as well as occasionally providing a bag of mealie meal and even helping transport her to the hospital during emergencies. Other than that, they also helped supply Mary with fabrics to create table cloths to sell as she explained that she was now suffering from breathing problems, and selling the packs of cobra colouring was becoming harder and harder.
During the checkup, which is done on a regular basis ranging from once a month to twice a week depending on the severity of the child’s condition, Ms. Kanyanta Mirriam, who had kindly let me tag along to see how the organization went about checkups, started off by asking the family if there were any problems that may have cropped up since the last visit. From there she moved on to check the child for rashes that could indicate complications with HIV. After finding nothing, she pulled out a thermometer and a weighing scale from her handbag to check on the child’s overall fitness. Finally after the checkup she reviewed hygiene guidelines with the family and reminded them why it was important to keep a clean home as well as making sure to wash your hands and brush your teeth. It was all very comprehensive for a short visit, and Mirriam explained that she visited about three to four families every day to ensure that things were going fine.
On Saturday, I was invited to attend the SafePark activities that are hosted by the Matero Care Center every week from 9:00 till 11:00. This is where the children from nearby compounds are able to gather and take part in many fun but informative activities, and talk about their problems in a safe environment. There were about ninety children when I visited, ages ranging from four till about fourteen. For the first hour and a half, there were numerous physical activities such as dances, many Simon says-like games, and a form of duck-duck-goose. After this the children were split by age groups and discussed problems they were facing at home, or brushing up on what they should be doing for their day-to-day hygiene, and even how to know when they were being abused. One of the activities that stood out for me was the one where children were allowed to play with building blocks, and a lot of the times, this helped express problems that they were having at home. I was told that other days they also allow children to just draw or colour and that too helps with them expressing their personal feelings.
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