From the onset of the PMTCT program that Mansa NZP+ has been implementing with support from Firelight Foundation they knew that the Community Based Volunteers (CBVs) would become a critical component of HIV/AIDS care and prevention. They increased their effectiveness by making them vital members of multidisciplinary HIV teams within the health facilities. They also provided tailor-made and appropriate training. The buy-in of medical staff was essential to the program's success, since CBVs would report to a nurse at each facility and participate in clinical meetings.
Mansa NZP+ also knew that trained CBVs would do more than support their clients' adherence to treatment. If the CBVs were based within the health facilities and integrated into their staff, this would facilitate crucial connections between the facilities and the communities where the CBVs lived.
The CBV training program has been transformative: it created a single, expanded circle of care and treatment, rather than adding a loop of home-based, community care that would be a satellite or appendage of the health facility. And, because people living with AIDS (PLHA) were the priority for recruitment as CBVs, the program stood to cement other, important connections by giving PLHA a vital and rewarding role in the day-to-day operations of the health facilities.
Celia is testament to that succcess.
The stress from finding out you have HIV as well as from having to make big changes in your life can lead to physical problems such as headaches, upset stomach, irritability and difficulty concentrating like what I went through, narrates Cecilia. But with support from a CBV, she was able to realize what she had to do to protect her unborn child.
" The volunteer was so wonderful as she had the experience on how PMTCT has worked for her. She helped me through the stages of grief. She also supported me as I disclosed my status to my family. She also walked me through the clinic and helped through until I was put on the ARVs the medication that can prolong my life and see my child grow."
It is not enough to get mothers and their infants tested and to keep them on treatment. If anything, that is just the beginning. Mansa NZP+ goes further:
The overall result is that women's lives are improved in all areas: social, emotional, and economic, in addition to health. The benefits accrue to their babies, other children and the whole family.
Thank you for your generosity! Your gifts are strengthening our community by reducing the transmission of HIV from mother to child.
So far we have received thirty four gifts totaling $1,660! Your donations are a critical piece in our effort to improve the lives of thousands of women and children.
As a result of our work the stigma around HIV is decreasing, and discrimination among children and adolescents is on the decline. We see fewer cases of social isolation and the topic of HIV has become less of a taboo. As a result, our enrollment of young mothers continues to climb. Their care and awareness is a critical step in improving the health care for our community’s children. Healthy mothers are able to farm and start small business activities. And so these families are able to afford the transport costs to medical facilities for critical check-ups, and are able to afford school fees and healthy food for the children.
Thank you for joining our cause and for entrusting our efforts with your support!
Thank you for your continued support of MANSA. You’re supporting a well-rounded, holistic approach to reducing mother to child transmission of HIV. To make this approach real to you, we’ve complied a list of MANSA’s achievements in their community. Please enjoy learning about how you’ve supported mothers and children in Zambia through MANSA's activities:
With gratitude for all you’ve helped MANSA accomplish,
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