So many mothers find themselves in the horrible position of wondering, wondering, wondering. They wonder if they are HIV+. They wonder if the baby in their belly is, as well. They aren't sure...they have an idea that their husband has been unfaithful and he doesn't look as well as he usually does, but what does that mean? Is he simply going through a bad patch in life or has he contracted the virus that puts fear in everyone's heart?
A mom wonders - what should I do? What is the best thing to do for myself and this tiny baby who is about to be born? And, if she decides that yes, she will take the test to determine her HIV status, she wonders how she'll pay for it. And, what happens if she IS positive? how will she pay for the medicine she will need? For the medicine the baby will need, if she, too, is positive?
We at AFCA give these moms options to help them have an easier time as they make this very brave and oftentimes, lonely, decision. First, they are encouraged to attend counseling with their spouse. If they do, and even if they don't, they are told that we can provide the tests for them for free. Yes, FREE testing for them and for their baby at birth. And, if they happen to be HIV+, they will receive the care they need in order to live a long, healthy life for many years to come. Counseling is, of course, part of the package, which moms everywhere appreciate beyond words.
Just last week we sent 25,000 HIV testing kits to Uganda, thanks to your donations. Isn't that wonderful? Tell you what - the women and children who received tests thing YOU are wonderful for caring enough to give them a chance and to give them a reason to decide that it is a good idea to get tested.
Thank you, folks. Please don't stop now...we want to continue providing tests and medicine for children and pregnant moms and we can only do that with your help.
My email is tweaver@AFCAids.org if you'd ever like to join a Vacation with a Purpose or would like to climb Kilimanjaro in support of our children.
Another big request for medicine has come to us out of Uganda - medicine to help over 3600 children for three months. This is huge for such a small organization like the American Foundation for Children with AIDS! But, in the spirit of helping children like Joseph, we are happy to help.
You see, Joseph was one of the very first children we gave life saving medicine to. He was malnourished and very, very sick when we first met the 11 year old. Unable to walk on his own due to his condition, he was carried into the clinic by his father, who thought he'd never see his son alive again. After just 2 weeks on anti-retroviral medicine and good nutrition, Benson was walking and talking again. Two months later, you couldn't even tell the boy had almost died - he was playing and carrying on like any other 11 year old would.
Now at 18, Joseph is studying to be a mechanic. He has a twinkle in his eye that is infectious and makes everyone around him laugh. I always find it a joy to visit him and to hear of his dreams. First, all he wanted to do was to live. Then, he wanted to live long enough to graduate from high school. Now that he's accomplished that feat and he is doing amazingly, he wants to have his own business. At the rate he's going, he'll do just that and much more, I have no doubt!
So, when we receive a request to help 3600 children, how can we say no? We want to give each of those children the same we gave to Joseph - hope and health and the ability to dream. Please help us today - even a small donation will help us provide what these children need.
Thanks for all you've done for them and all you continue to do!
What IS the big deal about angels, anyway? Some people believe in them. Some people don't. But, many of the children in our programs do believe in them - but in the form of humans who care for them and who provide them with things their parents can't, either because they are not able to financially or because they are no longer here. So many little ones are grateful for the fact that someone cared enough for them to send them medicine, food, school supplies, and hope. You are one of those people!
This Mother's Day, will you be an angel to our kids once again? Will you make a donation which will allow us to purchase and deliver two months of life-saving medicine for children for whom we care? If you do, we will send you a beautiful silver angel pendant and necklace to give to someone special in your life. Maybe someone who cared for you and who showed you kindness -a grandmother, your mother, a friend, a cousin, a sister, or a co-worker. With one gesture, you'll be bestowing gifts to two important people. What could be better than that?
Thanks for being an angel today,
There is a small clinic in the town of Mpumudde, Uganda. Don't bother looking up Mpumudde because you won't find it. Really, you won't. Look for Jinja instead. Close to Jinja - that is where Mpumudde is. That is where a container of medical supplies sent by AFCA arrived this past week.
Yes, we send medicine for HIV+ children and their guardians. But, we also do our best to send good quality medical supplies and equipment so that clinics like Mpumudde's can care for their patients with clean sutures and needles, good and sturdy hospital beds, new water filters, and hundreds of other items.
Since Mpumudde has been receiving AFCA medicine, I thought you'd like to hear about the gift of supplies they received. They can't be happier! The head doctor wrote us a note of thanks saying "our joy is too much to put in writing" and another doctor said "thank you for loving Uganda". I couldn't say it better!
Thanks for your support of our kids!
Over 200 clients (75% being children) are seen daily at the Pediatric Infectious Disease Center (PIDC) in Kampala, Uganda and 60% of these clients need treatment for Opportunistic Infections (OIs). Because of the support from AFCA and other partners, we have been able to achieve reduction in mortality per annum of children below 5 yearsfrom 8% in 2007 to 2.5% at present.
Continued support enables PIDC to serve as a one-stop center for management of seriously ill clients minimizing further referrals, and contributing to improved quality of care with minimized operations costs associated with referral treatment.
Most of the children that joined the clinic as infants or toddlers have now grown to young adults, thanks to your support. These children have reached high school and others tertiary training institutions (universities and vocational training colleges). This could not be possible without the continued support from AFCA. The Post Natal Clinic (PNC) receives daily 80-100 babies infected and exposed to HIV. PIDC has been able to treat all the children that turnup at PNC because of the support of our faithful partners.
AFCA provides close to 30% of the Co-trimoxazole, anti-malarials needed for the clients at PIDC and PNC.
Medicine from AFCA have always been apportioned to the neediest of the supported clinics in the country. All these clinics do not get adequate supplies from the Government and hence without any support, health workers wouldadvise patients to buy their own medicines. However, very few patients can afford to buy full course of treatment. When we get the support for medicines, we identify health facilities that are experiencing critical stock outs and serve them what we call buffer stocks as emergency cover while coordinating with the Government for routine supplies. Most times routine supplies do not come and we therefore end up sustaining facilities with buffer stocks. We also monitor stock levels in different supported clinics and move some stocks to others that are experiencing near stock outs. Our findings in the countryside show that our efforts have been greatly appreciated because of vigilance to rationalize limited supplies for medicine to ensure that at least each supported clinic is facilitated to treat its HIV clientele.
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