Dec 20, 2020

Thank Your For Educating Vulnerable Children About COVID Prevention

COVID education for vulnerable children
COVID education for vulnerable children

2020 brought a whole host of unexpected challenges. However, since we know our communities well, and with a few adaptations in service delivery, none of the children or their families contracted COVID. We strengthened our education, and training systems to ensure that we can continue to provide the services our community needs while keeping everyone safe from COVID. Your continued support helped build the infrastructure essential for an effective response to the pandemic. Thank you! For a glimpse into a COVID education workshop watch this short video

2021 may bring more uncertainty, but our faith in the strength of our program activities has been confirmed. Thank you for the gift of health to HIV+ orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia.

Sending you and your family a tsunami of love for the holiday season and for 2021. 

COVID workshop in session
COVID workshop in session

Links:

Nov 18, 2020

Impact of Program Activities and COVID Education

COVID education for children
COVID education for children

New “Safe Park” Format: “Safe Park” was designed for the children from the community to learn and play in a safe environment. Last April, regular program activities were replaced by COVID education workshops for children. These workshops are free and open to all children from the community. Since most families in the community had little knowledge about COVID, education was provided. Two COVID prevention workshops are conducted every week. PPE and a small snack are provided. About 40 children attend each week.

Goal: Our goal is to keep families informed so that they follow all protocols (hand washing, social distancing, and wearing a mask) to stay safe from COVID.

Impact of Program activities: As a result of attendance in COVID education workshops, children have better knowledge about COVID prevention and the importance of using masks and frequent handwashing. Stories of two children given below highlight the effectiveness of these educational workshops.

Claire (name changed) is a 12-year-old who tested positive (her parents are positive) when she was three years old. She has been on ARV medication for the past few years. Before she started medication, she complained of diarrhea, cough, rash, and fever. After she started ARV’s her health started improving, was attending school but did not like it much. Caire has been participating enthusiastically in “Safe Park” games and workshops for the past two years. She enjoys interacting with other children, playing games, and learning about COVID prevention. With regular participation, she knows how to prevent COVID, her mental health has improved, and her self-esteem is better. She is a fourth grader and likes school. 

Nancy (name changed) is a bright 14-year-old, studying in grade 10. She is enrolled in “Safe Park” and in our pediatric HIV care programs. Prior to enrolling in “Safe Park”, she had several questions and doubts about her HIV positive status (her parents are living with HIV). In her own words, “ I was adhering well to treatment, but I never wanted people around as I felt there was no need to live because I had already been given a death sentence’’. Participation in HIV workshops and interacting with other children (both positive and negative) helped her adjust to her positive status. She says, “Safe Park has made me feel free and know am not the only one in this situation”. She is now better adjusted to her status, knows how to prevent COVID, and likes interacting with peers.

Program activities help several hundred children like Claire, and Nancy to improve in physical and mental health, learn about HIV and COVID, and are better adjusted to their difficult circumstances.

Thanks for keeping children and families safe from COVID.

It's important to wash hands frequently
It's important to wash hands frequently
Masks provided to children learning about COVID
Masks provided to children learning about COVID

Links:

Nov 18, 2020

To Keep Vulnerable Communities Malaria Free, 6000 Long Lasting Insecticide Treated Nets Provided

Nets Ready for Vulnerable Communities
Nets Ready for Vulnerable Communities

Impact of COVID: The COVID virus has had a disproportionately higher impact on vulnerable populations and developing countries. According to Bill Gates, this year we are amid “mutually exacerbating catastrophes”. In public health, we have been setback by 25 years, as people are not seeking health care and receiving life-saving services such as vaccinations. Further, according to the WHO, disruption to anti-malaria programs due to COVID could cause deaths from malaria to double in Sub-Saharan Africa. Progress in the fight against malaria has stalled at the same time as mosquitoes and parasites gain resistance to treatment. In 2020 and 2021, there is an urgent need to escalate preventive measures that include mosquito bed nets and spraying homes with insecticides.

Malaria in Zambia: Malaria transmission rates are high in all areas in Zambia, due to high co-infections rates between HIV and malaria, water logging, and poor sanitation. One-third of households do not have access to even one net and the remainder may need more than one net per household. Also, less than 50% of children under five sleep under a net, even though malaria can be fatal for young children. Pregnant women living with HIV are also highly vulnerable to malaria infection and death.

Our Response to the crisisAccording to the USAID, it is possible to eliminate malaria from Zambia in the next 2-3 years. To help eliminate malaria from Zambia, 6000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on malaria and COVID is being provided this month. Trained health care professionals provide health education and information about malaria and COVID. Topics discussed during the education session include:

  • hygiene, drainage maintenance, filling and/or removal of mosquito breeding sites,
  • proper use and maintenance of nets (cleaning and storage) to prevent damage,
  • negative impact of malaria in pregnancy,
  • information about malaria for HIV+ children,
  • identification of signs and symptoms of malaria, and
  • information regarding regular re-treatment of nets, cost, and location.
  • information on how to prevent COVID

All protocols for COVID prevention are followed during the provision of nets and education. Beneficiary communities were selected based on need and transmission rates of malaria. Direct beneficiaries are young children, children and adults living with HIV, older people, people suffering from TB, and pregnant women. 

With your support, 11,000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education benefitting approximately 44,000 children or 22,000 adults (as each net can sleep four young children or two adults) have been distributed in 2020.

Next steps: Our plan is to provide 12,000-15,000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education in 2021.

Stay safe. We are all in this together.

Thanks for keeping children and families free from malaria and COVID-19.

Nets Provision to Vulnerable Children
Nets Provision to Vulnerable Children
Nets Provision at an Orphanage in Zambia
Nets Provision at an Orphanage in Zambia

Links:

 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.