Preventing HIV in South African Babies

 
$863
$94,850
Raised
Remaining

 

It has been estimated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that worldwide there are 490,000 cases of active TB and sickness in children, and 64,000 deaths of children from TB each year.This is the estimate for HIV negative children, as children who have TB and who are also HIV positive when they die, are internationally classified as having died from HIV. Many people think that these figures are a significant underestimate.

In high burden TB settings it has been noted that 15-20% of all TB cases are among children, whereas in low burden TB settings it is estimated that 2-7% of all TB cases are among children.

In commemoration of the post-World TB Day Awareness dated 24 March 2015; Children’s Rights Centre in partnership with Yezingane Network (Secretariat of the children’s sector) shared on its social media an informative TB fact sheet informing and reminding people about the risks of TB and how it can be treated. This was after it was identified in previous reports that tuberculosis mostly affected young adults in their most productive years and South Africa being one of the countries with the highest burden.

The organization has also been constantly active in social media by posting updates on important health calendar dates. These included the following dates:

  • STI/ CONDOM AWARENESS WEEK: 10 – 16 FEBRUARY 2015: This was used as a platform to remind the public at large that sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are not new and needed to realize that anyone is a target and only very safe sexual behaviors would decrease their risk of infection hence everyone was being encouraged to practice safe sex by using a condom!
  • PREGNANCY AWARENESS WEEK: 10 – 16 FEBRUARY 2015: Since the organization had been actively involved in the PMTCT Campaign; this year’s Pregnancy Awareness week was basically to educate and remind all women about the PMTCT (Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission) of HIV/AIDS. This is a programme which was designed and aimed at stopping the spread of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) from mothers to their children with a goal to keep women and children healthy, improving their quality of life and lowering deaths.

Amongst other things that Children’s Rights Centre has been actively involved in; a radio interview was scheduled with one of the local radio stations. The focus of the interview was around Infant Feeding and HIV and the importance & benefits of breastfeeding while HIV positive. This was a significant interview as it also forms a huge part of the PMTCT Campaign.

According to UNICEF without preventive interventions, approximately one-third of infants born to HIV-positive mothers contract HIV through mother-to-child transmission, becoming infected during their mothers' pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.

This is why we try by all means at any given chance to promote and remind all women about the benefits of breastfeeding.

PS. Benefits of breastfeeding are the same for HIV positive or negative women.

The support from donors through the Global Giving site is deeply appreciated and acknowledged. Your contributions have allowed us to continue campaigning for the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) to strive for an aware generation of mothers knowing that HIV transmission from mother to child is preventable and has the potential to greatly influence all future generations of South Africans.

The Children’s Rights Centre which is the Secretariat of the Yezingane Network ran a successful awareness raising PMTCT campaign during the past two years. The next step of the PMTCT Campaign is to mobilize, engage and build the capacity of Yezingane Network member organizations working at provincial level on understanding and championing initiatives aimed at scaling up the prevention of Mother–to-Child Transmission (PMTCT) through workshops, community dialogues and information sharing. These initiatives will also focus on the promotion of safe breastfeeding.

The Children’s Rights Centre and the Yezingane Network will continue to utilize the various communication channels of TV, radio, print and digital media to direct messages across South Africa to a wide variety of women that includes mothers and women who are planning on a pregnancy.

As a means to strengthening collaboration and partnership around PMTCT, it is important that the youth, women and men’s sectors are included in all initiatives. In light of this inter-sectorial meetings will be held to enhance the knowledge of PMTCT and breastfeeding. These collaborations can only result in positive outcomes for the prevention of mother to child transmission and will assist in working towards the Children’s Sector’s vision of 3 Zero’s:

  • Zero New Infections in babies           
  • Zero AIDS-related child deaths
  • Zero tolerance for child rights violations

We look forward to the continued support of donors and appreciate your generosity for it is only through our combined efforts that we prevent HIV in babies.

Questions and Answers on Infant Feeding and HIV
Questions and Answers on Infant Feeding and HIV

According to UNICEF without preventive interventions, approximately one-third of infants born to HIV-positive mothers contract HIV through mother-to-child transmission, becoming infected during their mothers' pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding. In 2001, 800,000 children under the age of 15 contracted HIV, over 90 per cent of them through mother-to-child transmission of HIV (MTCT). Between 15 and 25% of children born to HIV-infected mothers get infected with HIV during pregnancy or delivery, while about 15% of the children get infected through breastfeeding.

The aim of the Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV and AIDS campaign launched by the Yezingane Network (housed at Children’s Rights Centre) in August 2013 was to raise awareness of PMTCT Services available to pregnant and lactating mothers as well as to promote healthy behaviours including adherence to treatment, safe breastfeeding and early and regular antenatal clinic visits. Materials were developed, printed and distributed to mothers across South Africa with the aim of educating and highlighting the significance of exclusive breast feeding.

We have seen much interest around the PMTCT campaign, and continue to strive for an aware generation of mothers knowing that HIV transmission from mother to child is preventable and has potential to greatly influence our future generation.

Thus far we have taken the initiative of translating the available PMTCT Guidelines into 2 indigenous languages namely IsiZulu and Sotho. The aim of translating the materials into local languages was for local people within the communities to be able to easily understand them and also create an awareness about the importance of PMTCT and exclusive breast-feeding. These publications are being distributed to different organisations, especially within the rural areas.

Besides the PMTCT guidelines, there is also the Infant Feeding FAQ Booklet with questions and answers for breastfeeding mothers both HIV infected and HIV negative. This booklet was produced in 2010, and has been updated. It was developed in order to inform, educate and advise mothers and health care workers about the importance of exclusive breast feeding, which simply means giving the baby no other food or drink – not even water- except breast milk. This booklet was found to be very useful by health workers and paediatricians to such an extent that the Yezingane Network saw the need to update the booklet and also translate it into the 2 local languages.

The Infant Feeding FAQ booklet is being distributed with a breastfeeding cartoon video developed for lactating mothers which was launched in the week of 1-7 August 2014 (World Breastfeeding Week.)

These valuable resources used as a platform on our social media network sites to create awareness and encourage healthy behaviours and highlight the importance of exclusive breast feeding and its benefits.

Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Booklet
Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission Booklet

This is a full-colour picture handbook for children living with HIV published by the Children's Rights Centre. It encourages children to live positively and to participate actively in the medical and health management of their illness. The book was informed by children, families, doctors, nurses and teachers. Pictures, activities and simple information provide the child with advice and clear explanations of health and treatment issues.

The support of donors through the Global Giving site is deeply appreciated and acknowledged and it has been through your assistance that we have been able to make the “My Living Positively” series a reality for many children and caregivers across South Africa.

Ever since Children's Rights Centre started distributing this handbook in April 2009, we have received nothing but positive feedback from Child Health Care Workers and other organisations who use the book as a training tool. We have also received a number of requests from partner organisations such as NACOSA (Networking AIDS Community of South Africa) and MATCH (Maternal, Adolescent and Child Health) to mention but a few asking for more copies as they find the handbook very helpful, simple and easy for children to work with and also understand their HIV status. To date we have distributed more than 8000 handbooks with the adult guides namely "Helping Children living with HIV." These were also translated into 2 indigenous languages IsiZulu and Xhosa.

Due to the demand of the materials we have once again run out of stock and currently do not have enough funding to print more copies for distribution to all other organisations in need of this very useful handbook. Children's Rights Centre has tried other means of fundraising to cover the printing costs but this was insufficient. We therefore urge all people to please continue donating in order for us to reprint the handbook to continue helping our children deal with their HIV status and also educate others.

We thank you for your commitment and support in helping children living with HIV.

The children's book My Living Positively Handbook is a book for young children who are HIV positive. It was made by children, families, doctors, nurses and teachers. Pictures, activities and simple information help the child to find out many ways to live positively.

There will never be enough words to show our admiration and gratitude to the young people and their families who opened their lives, their homes, and their stories to us. We are also grateful for the contribution of technical support and substantive information from partner organisations, individuals and families. We would also like to thank all our funders including Global Giving Foundation (especially the individual donors whom we cannot mention all by name). You have all helped to make this book for children a reality, through your logistical, administrative and financial support. 

Ever since Children's Rights Centre started distributing this handbook in April 2009, we have received nothing but only positive feedback from Child Health Care Workers and other organisations doing trainings using the book. We have received a number of requests from other partner organisations such as NACOSA (Networking AIDS Community of South Africa) and MATCH (Maternal, Adolescent and Child Health) to mention a few asking for more copies as they find this handbook very helpful, simple and easy for children to work with and also understand their HIV status. We have therefore managed to distribute more than 8000 handbooks with adult guides namely "Helping Children living with HIV." These were also translated into 2 indigenous languages IsiZulu and Xhosa.

It is so unfortunate that we have again run out of stock and currently do not have enough funding to print out more copies for distribution to all other organisations in need of this very useful handbook. Children's Rights Centre have tried other means of fundraising but was not enough to cover the costs. We would therefore like to ask all our funders to please continue donating as we would like to get this book re-printed and continue helping our children deal with their HIV status and also educate others.

Thanking you all in advance for your commitment and cooperation in helping children living with HIV.

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Organization

Project Leader

Nombuso Zikalala

Miss
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa

Where is this project located?

Map of Preventing HIV in South African Babies