Hello PATS Supporters,
Happy Fall! We have many updates on our progress to share. The PATS newsletter is here, and below is an excerpt highlighting two PATS kids worthy of your support. The 2011 annual report has also just beem released, and you can view the Powerpoint presentation it here: 2011 Annual Report
Also, October 17th is the LAST Bonus Day of the year. GlobalGiving will be matching donations 30% up to $1,000 per donor, per project. We have $50,000 available in matching funds. Matching will begin at 12:01 am EDT and last until funds run out or until 11:59 pm EDT. If you've been thinking about supporting PATS this year but haven't done so yet, please consider donating through GlobalGiving on October 17th!
During PATS’ July visit to China we welcomed two new children to the program, ten year old Yuting and her six-year-old brother Junhao. Yuting and Junhao live with their mother, father and middle sister in a very poor village that is inaccessible by car. Yuting, Junhao and their mother were all diagnosed with HIV in 2010, although they were most likely infected many years earlier. Despite the challenges associated with the disease and the stigma that accompanies it, the family seems to be very loving and supportive of one another. The mother in particular is incredibly attentive and thankfully, the family is careful not to confuse the adult and pediatric formulations of their ARV medication (medication confusion is a common problem faced by many PATS families). While Junhao is not yet on ARVs, both Yuting and her mother are and have surprisingly good adherence considering they have had little exposure to health services prior to PATS’ involvement. In this situation, the guidance and assistance of the PATS community health workers will be especially critical. During the first visit with this new PATS family, we learned that Yuting and Junhao are not eating very well and the family does not have the means to buy special food to appeal to their children’s picky tastes. As proper nutrition is vitally important to the hea lth of HIV-positive children, PATS will also be providing the family with pediatric multivitamins in addition to the standard nutritional stipend. The PATS team is looking forward to caring for and learning more about Yuting and Junhao. To help PATS in our endeavor to help these children, please consider sponsoring Yuting or Junhao.
See the rest of the newsletter here: October Newsletter
Mari Seto is an In-The-Field Representative for GlobalGiving. She is visiting projects throughout China. Here is her most recent "postcard" from Fuyang, China:
When we first stepped into the office of AIDS Orphans Salvation Association (AOS) in Fuyang, a city in Anhui Province, we were greeted by a group of excited children shouting, running, and playing happily among themselves. This is a place where HIV-infected children, children with family members that are infected with HIV can safely play without being exposed to the stigma towards HIV patients in China. For a while, we watched children playing games, drawing, and taking dance lessons taught by the local volunteers.
In the AOS office, we met Kristin and Ally who are representatives from PATS Foundation. PATS Foundation and their local partner AOS are working together to give extensive care to the children that are infected by HIV. While the medication to contain the effect of HIV is provided free of charge from the government, the children and their families lack mental and physical support. PATS and AOS send Community Health Workers to check up on the change of HIV infected children's physical and mental conditions, as well as talking to the doctors on behalf of the family.
Next day, Charlene and I accompanied the community health workers and PATS team visiting four HIV infected children in the Lixin village, located two hours outside of Fuyang. We watched the health workers check the pill bottles to see if the children have been taking the medicine properly. Health workers also weighed and measured the children's heights to see if they have been growing healthily. Kristin, who has been visiting Fuyang over many years, told us that the conditions of the children got much better since PATS and AOS started sending health workers. At the same time, it became apparent during the visit that the many of the kids were malnourished - PATS and AOS team decided they will buy additional multivitamins for the children.
Though improving, the stigma towards HIV patients is strong in China- many patients keep their sickness secret so that they would not be abandoned by their community or even their family members. Charlene and I were very impressed how the PATS and AOS team are determined to provide extensive care for the children, despite the stigma.
I recently returned from a field visit to our operations in Henan and Fuyang in May. PATS’s work is progressing smoothly, and I observed visible improvements in the children’s health and well-being.
Xinxing, a 9 year old boy in Henan, has gotten much healthier since he switched to 2nd line drugs this year. He sang a popular song “Xuexi Lei Feng” and read aloud from a book we bought for him when we visited. Xueqiang, a 10-year-old boy in Fuyang, is probably most improved of all. Xueqiang had poor adherence due to a fluctuating home situation when I visited last year, but he has had nearly perfect adherence during all of PATS’s home visits this year, and his family plans to send him to school in the fall after a long hiatus.
But my most memorable experience was visiting longtime PATS senior advisor Wang Liyao at his home in Hangzhou. Mr. Wang is a 72-year-old retired professor originally from Anhui, and he has been with PATS and our local partner AOS since the very beginning in 2003. He was diagnosed with metastatic cancer of the pancreas in March of this year, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy.
During my visit on May 15 he spent quite a bit of time relating to me his vision for improving our measurement of drug adherence, showing that PATS is on his mind despite his illness and treatment. A few words from Mr. Wang to the PATS community:
“Fortune is not unfair to me. It bestowed misfortune on me, but meanwhile, it gives me so much happiness and joy. Thank you, to the PATS community, for all of your heartfelt wishes, warm letters, and emails. Your words moisten my heart just like the rain and dew, enlighten my life just like sunshine.”
If you would like to donate in honor of Mr. Wang and send him a personal message of support, please choose “Make this donation in honor of someone” to the right of this report, and email your message to me at email@example.com so I can forward it to Mr. Wang.
Jialan Wang PATS Board Member
Video messages from Mr. Wang, that I recorded on May 15: English: https://vimeo.com/43052942 Chinese: https://vimeo.com/43013597
You can read more about Mr. Wang, PATS's unsung hero, in our last newsletter: http://patskids.org/sites/default/files/April%202012.pdf
And see him in action on video from our site visit last year: http://vimeo.com/album/1750034
Dear PATS Supporters,
We hope you are all enjoying the splendors of the spring season. In this newsletter we wanted to highlight one of our children who is open for sponsorship through generous donors like you. Sponsoring a child provides for all of their needs throughout the year, and is a great way to keep engaged with one particular child.
Yao Yao lives in the countryside in Funan, Anhui with his parents, both of whom are HIV-positive. Yao is like any other sever year old boy - he loves to play with his friends and never uses his indoor voice! Although life in rural China is difficult, Yao’s brother was able to secure employment as a migrant worker and began sending the family a small stipend. About 10 months ago, our workers noticed that Yao’s arms were bruised. Assuming that the bruises resulted from normal kids’ play, the issue was set aside for the time being. When the bruises persisted, our workers repeatedly asked Yao’s parents to bring him to the doctor. Yao was quickly diagnosed with a dangerously low platelet count and hospitalized for 13 days for the first of two rounds of treatment, for which his parents had to borrow money to pay out of pocket.
While his health improved significantly, Yao is waiting to receive a second round of treatment and unfortunately, his family does not have the necessary funds. Our workers are now working with the family to see if the treatment can be financed by the government. Yao’s mom has been so worried that she lost 12 pounds in one month. Our workers have listened to her concerns intently and encouraged her to take care of herself so she will have enough strength to continue to care for Yao.
This example illustrates the complexities of providing care to children living with HIV/AIDS. In reality, care extends much beyond a pill counting chart. It requires attention to detail like noticing bruises on a child’s arm, patience to listen to the parents’ worries with empathy and problem-solving skills to help the parents resolve challenges. The family situation is completely different for each child and, in turn, our workers tailor their approach to ensure that each PATS child gets the care and support they need and deserve.
To help PATS in our endeavor to provide children like Yao with a brighter future, please consider sponsorship. Visit www.patskids.org for more information.
Check out the many other ways to engage with PATS:
Thanks for your continued support!
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