Power of Love Foundation

Our Mission is: To turn back the tide of the global AIDS epidemic through innovative community responses that increase the effectiveness of prevention and care efforts. Our Vision is: A world where the AIDS epidemic is in continuous retreat, and people living with HIV/AIDS have access to loving care and treatment in an environment free of stigma and discrimination.
Dec 13, 2015

A Big Thank You and Happy Holidays

The Power of Love team would like to wish you a very happy holiday season and express thanks for your caring, encouragement, and support throughout the year. Your support has given the gift of joy and well-being to several hundred children growing up in an impoverished community in Zambia. Some of our key accomplishments in 2015 were:

  1. 760 children had fun playing and learning via educational games with our trained child care workers and interacting with other children.
  2. Parents/family members of 250 children were provided with counseling regarding the child’s mental and physical growth.
  3. Older children acted as mentors and role models for younger children in the program.

Plans for 2016: Going forward we will recruit an additional 20 older children/young adults as volunteers who will be organizing educational games and activities for the younger children. 

Please take a moment and treat yourself to this short video in which our children are singing and playing a popular Zambian game called "Chiligogogogo chili paliwe" . We are confident that this video will brighten your day. 

Power of Love's, Safe Parks program provides a safe environment for children to play, learn and interact with each other. We could not have achieved our goals without each of you. 

Have a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and laughter!

Thank you! 

Links:

Oct 27, 2015

An Update on the health of children in Power of Love's Pediatric HIV care program

The Power of Love team would like to thank you for your continued support for our pediatric HIV care program in Zambia. Your support and caring has gone a long way in improving the lives of several hundred children and families infected/impacted by HIV, AIDS and malaria. This program is located in the community of Matero - one of the largest and poorest in Lusaka, Zambia. In addition, Matero is characterized with a high incidence of HIV, AIDS, and malaria, and unemployment rates upwards of 60%. Since most residents are poor and live on less than a dollar a day, they are unable to pay for basic health care services for their HIV+ children and can benefit from this program.

With your generous support, we were able to expand our pediatric HIV care program by adding 50 HIV+ children in February 2015. This brings the total number of children in our program to 250. Each of these 250 children receives food, medicines, and a package of life-saving health care services. The package of services includes weekly home visits from community health workers, monthly visits from the Project Nurse, psychosocial counseling, education on prevention of HIV, and adherence to medication monitoring and training. In addition, we provide ongoing training in caring for an HIV+ child to caregivers (most are grandmothers caring for multiple children). As a result, most children improve in health and enjoy a better quality of life.

Impact

Since 2004, more than 600 HIV+ children have benefitted directly and an additional 1600 children and family members are indirect beneficiaries as trained family members are able to take better care of all children at home and share their knowledge with others in the community. It has been our experience that after a few months on our program the children improve in health and are able to go back to school. 

Given below are a few measures of the impact of this program over the last year or so.

  • Health: Over the last year, the diet and nutrition of all children has improved leading to increased weight, fewer infections, and higher CD4 counts (which is good as it can delay the start of antiretroviral medication). In the first nine months 2015, 44 children showed an increase in weight and 17 children showed an improvement in CD4 counts; only three children had lower CD4 counts and four children lost weight. Also, we have seen a marked decline in the number, intensity and frequency of opportunistic infections.  
  • Education: Older children and caregivers have a better understanding of HIV prevention and care. In addition, trained caregivers share their knowledge with others leading to a more informed community.
  • Reduction in Stigma: As a result of better information about HIV, and improved health of the children there is a reduction in the stigma associated with HIV.
  • Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) program: Over the last four years, 100% of new born babies were HIV free even though their moms and siblings are HIV positive. Since inception of this PMTCT component 31 children out of a total of 32 were born HIV free.   
  • Adherence to Medication and Clinic Visits: Older children who are aware of their HIV+ status received training in adherence to medication. As of September 2015, there was 100% compliance to medications.
  • Schooling: All children who are eligible for school are attending school. An improvement in health due to better nutrition and continuous medical care has led to a higher school attendance and performance. We are proud as 90% of the children who wrote grade seven exams (this exam determines eligibility for middle school) passed.
  • Screening for Cancer/HIV: All caregivers are tested for HIV and provided with counseling. Out of a total of 218 caregivers, 190 were tested and 159 tested positive for HIV. HIV positive caregivers were provided with counseling.
  • Malaria Prevention: As a result of provision of bed nets and education on prevention of malaria, the incidence of malaria has decreased.

Overall, our pediatric HIV care program benefits 250 HIV+ children directly, and an additional 1600 children and family members indirectly as our trained caregivers share their learning with others in the community. We believe that provision of continuous quality health care to the children, and training and support to their care givers, has resulted in better health and attendance at school. Finally, the residents of Matero have come to rely on our much needed health care services and we have become an integral part of this community.

Next Steps: Our focus for 2015 and beyond continues to be the provision of a quality health care and training in HIV prevention to the children and families, business training and micro loans to women, and mosquito bed nets and education on prevention of malaria to the community. The ripple effects of this comprehensive approach are huge and long lasting for the community.

Please donate generously to help HIV positive children continue to play, attend school, and live healthy lives. And as always, 100% of your donations go towards programs and no part is used for overheads.

Thanks for your gift of health.

Links:

Oct 25, 2015

Impact of Project Mosquito Nets

Thanks again for your support for Power of Love’s malaria prevention program in Zambia. As a result of your generosity we were able to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated bed nets and education on prevention of malaria to children and families vulnerable to malaria last June. Your ongoing support has helped in keeping children malaria free, healthy, and in school. Over the last five years, we have been able to provide 8,800 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria to families in Zambia. These nets were used by an estimated 35,200 children (each net can sleep up to four young children) or 17,600 adults (each net can sleep two adults).

Impact of our Malaria Prevention Program

In order to assess the impact of our malaria prevention program we conducted a follow-up study in September 2015. The goal of this study was to assess (i) if the nets are being used every night, (ii) if the nets were maintained and stored as demonstrated during the malaria prevention day activities, (iii) if the beneficiaries had knowledge about re-treatment of nets, and (iv) if there was a decline in the incidence of malaria.

Results of the study: We interviewed 426 women beneficiaries and based on our conversation we concluded that:

(i) Nets are used every night. This is important as according to the World Health Organization, sleeping under a mosquito bed net is one of the most cost effective and easiest ways to prevent malaria.

(ii) Most beneficiaries had increased knowledge about the proper storage and maintenance of nets. Four grandmothers did not know how to use the nets and they were provided with another demonstration on the proper use and storage of nets. 

(iii) Most beneficiaries had knowledge about re-treatment of nets that is required every six months and that this service is available free of cost via by Government agencies.

(iv) Each net was being used to sleep at least 2-3 children or two adults. This implies that our malaria prevention program benefits approximately 4000-6000 children or 4000 adults each year.

(v)  Most women had better knowledge about malaria prevention and symptoms of malaria.

(vi) Most nets were in good condition (not torn).

(vii) There is a reduced incidence of malaria in the community.

(viii) There are fewer missed days from school as a result of better health of the children.

Need for Nets: Follow-up interviews with nets recipients indicates that the nets distributed over the last 2-3 years are in good condition and are being used as directed. However, we need several thousand more nets as most residents in our community live on less than a dollar a day and cannot afford to purchase a net.

Globally, malaria is still a problem as there were an estimated 200 million cases of malaria and 600,000 deaths in 2013. Ninety percent of malaria deaths occur in Sub-Saharan Africa and this disease is the leading cause of death for children under five. Over 400,000 children die needlessly every year from malaria which is easily preventable and treatable. Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to malaria.

According to the World Health Organization, 90 percent of families with a bed net use it. However, in 2013 only 50% of families in sub-Saharan African slept beneath a mosquito bed net. This highlights a need to provide nets to an additional 50% of the families in Sub-Saharan Africa. Moreover, a decrease in the usage of nets can lead to a major insurgence of the disease and can reverse the gains achieved in preventing deaths due to malaria over the last several years.  

Request for donations for our next Distribution of nets: At this time we are raising funds to provide 2000 long lasting insecticide treated nets and education on prevention of malaria before the next malaria season in 2016. A donation of $10 can prevent malaria for a family of four young children and two adults. Every little bit counts as a family can be malaria free for just pennies per person.      

Thanks for your caring and dedication to keep children malaria free in Zambia. 

Links:

 
   

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