Training Provided to Caregivers of children in our program
While designing our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program in 2004, one of the questions we repeatedly asked ourselves was: how can this program strengthen the community and empower caregivers (many of them grandmothers) to take care of their family members? We wanted this program to do more than provide food, medicines and health care services to HIV positive children in the community of Matero, in Lusaka, Zambia. We wanted to provide the right tools to the community to take of their family members. Our goal was strengthen the women and grandmothers, so that they could take care of their own children and sick family members at home. With the help of the Harvard School of Public Health, we developed a curriculum especially designed for women caregivers in Zambia. When a child is enrolled in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program, the parent/guardian undergoes week long training in caring for an HIV positive child. This unique approach has led to survival rates of 95% for children in our program. We have lost 11 children out of the 368 enrolled in the program since 2004 - statistically, we could have lost many more as life expectancy for an HIV positive child at birth is only 4-5 years.
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. To date more than 450 caregivers have been trained.
Brief description of the Training Program
The following topics are covered in a typical training session:
1. Child health: Importance of visits to the clinic for young children, Nutrition and sanitation, Hygiene, and Medication, Communication and confidentiality.
2. Basic Facts about HIV/AIDS: Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), Antiretroviral Therapy, Adherence.
3. Opportunistic infections and how to treat them at home: Diarrhea, Vomiting, Cough, Fever, Mouth, ear, nose, skin problems, Headaches, Abdominal pains, Tuberculosis
4. Review of danger signs and when to take the child to the clinic/hospital.
5. Psychosocial care and support
6. Signs and symptoms of breast/cervical cancer.
7. Legal help and where to get it.
8. Discussion on the environmental issues.
Measurable Outcomes of the Training
As a result of this training, the parent/guardian is able to:
1. Provide better care to the child in all aspects.
2. Able to share adequate information on HIV/AIDS and ARVs with the child.
3. Parents/caregivers are motivated to go in HIV testing.
4. They are better able to counsel the child.
5. They are able to identify danger signs and refer the child to the next level of care.
6. They are able to adhere to treatment and care hence reducing the number of clinic visits.
We would be happy to provide you with more information on training for grandmothers program.
Thanks again for your support and encouragement.
Heartwarming News from Power of Love's Pediatric HIV/AIDS care Program
Here is news that will make you dance with joy. In 2012, we had 11 children born in our Prevention Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) Program. We are very excited as all 11 children were born HIV negative. This is remarkable as the new born babies have HIV+ mothers and siblings (who are in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program). In fact of the 23 children born since we launched the PMTCT program, 22 have been born HIV negative. A picture of Ernest - born HIV negative in our PMTCT program- is given below. Ernest is the youngest of 6 siblings and we hope that he continues to maintain his negative status.
We strongly believe with proper intervention of PMTCT we can reduce/eliminate new pediatric HIV infections. As always, we appreciate your support as we could not have done this without you.
How does the PMTCT program work?
As of Jan 2013, we have 200 HIV positive children in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program. In addition to providing food, medicines and weekly health check-ups from a health worker/Nurse, the caregivers are provided with voluntary testing and counseling (VCT) services. A record is kept of the status of caregivers and if a HIV positive caregiver becomes pregnant, she is enrolled in our PMTCT program. Given below are the basic steps we follow to maximize the chances of a child being born HIV negative:
1. The Project Nurse Counsels the pregnant women on the importance of preventing the un-born child from contracting HIV.
2. The pregnant lady is referred to the ante-natal clinic for further counseling and is accompanied to the clinic by our staff if necessary.
3. From the second trimester until they give birth, the women are visited regularly by our Nurse/health worker in their homes. Our Nurse and health care workers advise them on the importance of taking ARV's, and monitor their adherence to their ARV regimen. Closer to the expected date of delivery, we intensify our monitoring system.
4. Once the baby is born, we encourage the caregiver to have the baby tested and adhere to the prophylaxis medication that the baby may be put on. We make sure that the baby is given the medication and is tested for HIV two times. If the baby tests HIV positive, she/he is automatically enrolled in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program.
Thanks again for your support and encouragement. Have a wonderful Valentine's Day.
A Conversation with one of the girls in our "Health Care for 200 HIV Positive Children in Zambia" Program
We would like to wish our friends and supporters a Very Happy and Peaceful New Year. With encouragement and support from you, we have been able continue to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zambia. To learn more click here.
In the fall of 2012, our Nurse had the following conversation with one of the girls in our program. This conversation took place between our Nurse and Precious after she was was informed by her mom about her HIV positive status. Precious is 13 years old and would like to become a Nurse.
Nurse (N): How did you feel when you came to know of your HIV positive status?
Precious (P): Nothing, because at school we learn about HIV/AIDS. I accepted my status because even my mother has HIV.
N: Apart from your mother, who else knows or who have you told about your HIV status?
P: My uncle and Aunt know that I have HIV but I don’t know if my father knows because my parents are divorced.
N: Do you go to school?
N: Tell me more about school
P: I am in grade 6 at Tukiya Private School, although I could have been in grade 8. I had TB and this caused me to stay out of school for one year.
N: What time do you take your ARVs?
P: I take them at 7 in the morning and 7 in the evening.
N: Have you ever missed any medication from the time you started?
P: No, I have an alarm clock.
N: Let’s talk more about school. What subjects do you like most?
P: English, Creative and technology Studies, Social and development studies, Science and Mathematics.
N: Did you pass last term?
P: I have not yet collected my results; we will collect them next week on Friday. I want to become a Nurse and I will bring my results at your office.
N: Is there anything that you would like me to know?
P: Nothing, except that I am very happy that you visit me and you come any time.
P: Is there anything that you would like us to do for you?
N: No, you are doing enough. You visit me every week, and last week you gave my mother mealie meal and beans. I think this is too much.
N: I am very happy to know that you take medication on your own, and that you have not missed any medication. Please continue to do so and I will see you on Saturday at the Safe Park program. Thank you
Precious is enrolled in our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program that provides food, medicines, and a package of life saving health care services to 200 HIV positive children. The package of health care services includes weekly health check-ups from Community Health worker/Nurse, psychosocial counseling, adherence monitoring and training, and education in prevention of HIV for older children. In addition, we provide ongoing training to family members (most are grandmothers) in caring for an HIV positive child. This program benefits 200 children and their families directly and an additional 1100 children indirectly as family members trained in HIV/AIDS care become role models for others in the community. To date, over 450 women have been trained. Also, in the last seven years, we have had 323 children go through our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program but lost eleven children to AIDS. Statistically, we could have lost 50 children or more as life expectancy of an HIV positive child is just five years at birth. More importantly most of the children are back in school. To read more click here.
Cost of this program: It costs approximately 0.75 cents per day per child or about $55,000 per year to provide food, medicines and the package of life saving healthcare services to all 200 HIV positive children. We will be happy to provide an itemized break up of costs upon request. At present, out of the 200 children, 126 children are on ARV medication and our program provides them with much needed continuous care. As a result of this continuous quality care:
(i) all children (except two), have either maintained or gained weight since January 2012. A stable or increased weight is an indication of stable health and is remarkable given the HIV positive status of the children and especially so since 63% are on ARV's.
(ii) We provide adherence training and monitoring for older children who are aware of their status. At this time, all children who are aware of their status are adhering well to their ARV regimen.
(iii) As a result of better nutrition and health, all children eligible for school are in school and learning.
To sum: This program has increased survival rates, reduced malnutrition, and lowered the frequency of opportunistic infections, leading to systemic and long term improvement in health and attendance for the children.
Funding Requirements for 2013
At this time, we are raising funds to continue to:
1. Provide food, medicines, and a package life-saving health care services to all 200 children in our program,
2. Train an additional 100 caregivers/grandmothers in caring for an HIV positive child.
3. Test caregivers of the children in our program for cervical cancer and breast cancer screening.
4. Continue the HIV “testing and prevention” program for caregivers so that our model continues to be comprehensive with elements of prevention, treatment, care for HIV.
5. Continue to provide school expenses for children whose parents need this support.
6. Continue the “Safe Parks” developmental program.
Please donate generously to this program so that all 200 children can continue to lead healthy and close to normal lives, and be back in school and learning. Thanks.
The Power of Love team would like to thank its friends and donors who provide support to its pediatric HIV/AIDS care program in Zambia. With generous support from donors, we have been able continue to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV/AIDS and malaria in Zambia. To lern more click here.
Our Philosophy behind the pediatric HIV/AIDS care Program: We believe that the home environment is the best for a child's normal development and that with the right training "everyone can be a caregiver" for an HIV positive child. Many health care services needed by an 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. Accordingly, after enrolling an HIV positive child, we train family members in caring for him/her so that the child is under the care of a trained person 24/7. This 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.
Our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program provides food, medicines, and a package of life saving health care services to 200 HIV positive children. The package of health care services includes weekly health check-ups from Community Health worker/Nurse, psychosocial counseling, adherence monitoring and training, and education in prevention of HIV for older children. In addition, we provide ongoing training to family members (most are grandmothers) in caring for an HIV positive child. This program benefits 200 children and their families directly and an additional 1100 children indirectly as family members trained in HIV/AIDS care become role models for others in the community. To date, over 450 women have been trained. Also, in the last seven years, we have had 323 children go through our pediatric HIV/AIDS care program but lost eleven children to AIDS. Statistically, we could have lost 50 children or more as life expectancy of an HIV positive child is just five years at birth. More importantly most of the children are back in school. To read more click here.
At present, out of the the 200 children,126 children are on ARV medication and our program provides them with much needed continuous care. As a result of this continuous quality care:
Cost of this program: It costs about 0.75 cents per day per child or about $55,000 per year to provide food, medicines and the package of life saving health care services to all 200 HIV positive children. We will be happy to provide an itemized break up of costs upon request.
Funding Requirements for 2012/2013
Please donate generously to this program so that all 200 children can continue to lead healthy and close to normal lives, and be back in school and learning.
Our work with HIV positive children in Zambia is possible due to support from donors like you. We would like to say a big Thank You to you for enabling us to provide food, medicines, and a package of life-saving health care services to HIV positive children in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia. The package of health care services includes weekly health check-ups from community health workers, regular visits from the Project Nurse, psychosocial counseling, education in HIV prevention, and adherence monitoring and training for older children. In addition, we provide ongoing training to caregivers of children in caring for their HIV positive child.
You will be happy to know that as a result of your continued support we added 50 children last month to bring the total number of children to 200. All new children have been tested for HIV, and are being treated for opportunistic infections. Also, caregivers of the new children will be trained in caring for a HIV positive child later this month.
A Few Highlights of this Program
1. In 2011, we launched a program called "Safe Parks" to address the emotional, mental, and spiritual health challenges faced by children living in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia This innovative tool was added to provide a complete package of health care services to the children in our program and this tool provides an opportunity for safe play and facilitates psycho-social support, activities, discussions, and learning. "Safe Parks" is open to all children in the community, and benefits a child's physical, social, emotional and intellectual development. Since, its inception 560 children from the community have participated in the program and an average of 90 children benefit from this program every week. Encouraged by the success of this program, we are planning on establishing additional “Safe Parks” in the community and some of these may be mobile “Safe Parks”.
2. All children (except one) have maintained/increased their weight which is a good indicator of their improved health and overall stability in health.
3. In our ante-natal care program, out of a total of 12 children born to HIV positive women, 11 were born HIV negative.
1. Provide food, medicines, and a package life-saving health care services to all children in our program,
4. Continue the HIV “testing and prevention” program for caregivers of the children so that our model continues to be comprehensive with elements of prevention, treatment, care, and economic empowerment.
6. Continue the “Safe Parks” developmental program
Please donate generously to this program so that all 200 children in this program can continue to lead healthy and close to normal lives, and be back in school and learning.
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