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.
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 for this program is to strengthen women and grandmothers, so that they can take care of their own 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 in Zambia.
The goal of this program is to keep children healthy so that they can attend school. At this time we have 200 HIV positive children in our program and 167 are of school going age. Out of these 167 children, 129 are in elementary school, 29 in middle school, and 9 in high school. We are proud that these children are able to attend school as out of the 200 children only 26% are being cared for by both parents, 84% being cared for by a single parent, grandparents or other relatives. We strive constantly to ensure that all children eligible for school are in school.
In addition to food and medicines, our program provides weekly health checkups, psychosocial counseling, education in prevention of HIV, adherence monitoring, and malaria bed nets to the children. As a result of this high quality care provided, most children are stable in health and able to live close to normal lives. In fact, most children showed positive signs of improvement in their health as measured by their weight and CD4 counts. All children (except two) gained weight/stayed same in weight; and all children (except 1) had stable or higher CD4 counts since January 2013. In addition, out of the 128 children on anti-retroviral medication, more than half are aware of their HIV positive status. Children who are aware of their status undergo adherence training that teaches them the importance of taking their medicines on time and provides them with simple tools so that they can adhere to their medication regimen. In addition, our Nurse and health workers monitor their adherence to the medication regimen and so far all children are adhering well to their medications.
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. Your generous donation 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.
Thanks for your continued support.
Happy Father's day! Father's Day is June 16 - give a gift of health to a dad in Zambia
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 goal of this program is to strengthen women and grandmothers, so that they can take care of their own children and sick family members at home. We do this by providing food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services to families of HIV positive children in Zambia.
Given below are stories of three children who are benefitting from this program.
Victor: Victor is nine years old and lives in a two-room rented home with his three siblings, step-mom and dad. He lost his mom when he was 2 years old and is being cared for by his step-mom and dad who are both HIV positive. His dad's job as a bar man does not bring in enough income to take care of his family. Victor tested positive in 2009 and started taking ARV medication in December of the same year. However, he did not respond well to treatment and was enrolled in our paediatric HIV/AIDS care program in April 2012. Before joining our program, he had sores round his scalp, diarrhoea, fever, and was not gaining weight. Since enrollment, Victor's weight has gone up from 33 lbs. to 48 lbs. He is given a health check-up every week by our community health worker and is stable in health. Victor is attending a community school as a first grader.
Lazarus: Lazarus lives with his grandmother, mom, and seven other children that are cared for by his grandmother. His parents divorced when he was one week old and his mom is HIV positive. Lazarus is also HIV positive and started taking ARV medication in January 2013. He is a fifth grader in a government school and is stable in health. His grandmother is very happy that Lazarus is enrolled in our paediatric HIV/AIDS care program as they receive food, medicines, weekly health check-ups, psychosocial counselling and education in prevention of HIV. In addition, the training Lazarus's grandmother received in caring for an HIV positive child helps her take better care of the other children at home.
Charity: Charity is nine years old and is being cared for by her grandmother as she lost both her parents to AIDS. Prior to enrolment in 2012, Charity was sick with TB and persistent diarrhoea. Since enrolment her health has improved and is now stable. Charity loves our Safe Parks program where she gets help with homework as she attends a community school. Her grandmother is very happy with the support received from Power of Love.
Thanks for your support and donations to this program.
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