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Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS

by Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF)
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS
Medical Care for Children in Nepal with HIV/AIDS

When COVID-19 cases began increasing in Nepal in March, most of NYF's regular programs were put on hold. The government banned all non-essential travel, and staff began working from home as much as possible. As case numbers surged, the country imposed a strict, nation-wide lockdown, and the New Life Center (NYF's special treatment facility for children with HIV/AIDS) quickly followed suit.

Though on lockdown, the amazing staff at the New Life Center (NLC) have been working harder than ever. In this report, we'd like to spotlight and honor Radhika S. — one of the nurses working tirelessly at the NLC in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Radhika S. began her career working with injecting drug users and others living with HIV/AIDS in central Nepal – but she felt called to work with children. She had seen so many of them deprived of basic rights, ignored by health professionals, and neglected by their communities. She knew these children deserved far better.

When she learned about the NLC, she eagerly joined the NYF team. Her passion for the work and her love for the children she serves have helped develop the NLC into the incredible resource it is today.

Now that Nepal is in lockdown, Radhika is one of a team of eight nurses keeping the NLC running. Most of the patients and their families had to be sent home when the lockdown began, but a handful of children living with HIV/AIDS remain in NYF’s care. These kids – either orphaned or abandoned by their families – have no other home but the New Life Center.

On her off days, Radhika keeps a positive mindset by listening to soothing spiritual programs and keeping up with her yoga practice.

But work is a different story. The NLC is a 24-hour job for the eight nurses on staff, with plenty to do. During a regular shift, Radhika administers medication, monitors health and nutrition, consults with the NYF dietician, creates and conducts educational classes, teaches yoga, and makes sure the kids are entertained, well-fed, and happy – all while taking special care to ensure the kids’ vulnerable immune systems aren’t exposed to COVID-19.

Radhika and the rest of the NLC staff are doing intensive, focused work — and NYF relies on your wonderful support to keep it going. To help us continue our important mission of supporting children with HIV/AIDS – especially during the COVID-19 crisis – please donate today. Eligible gifts up to $50 (per unique donor per organization) made between September 14th-18th will be matched at 50% by GlobalGiving.

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During these times of uncertainty, we want to thank you for your continuing concern for the NYF Family. As of March 17, our programs in Nepal have been restricted to protect the vulnerable young people in our care, and ensure the health and safety of the NYF staff.

The situation in Nepal is quickly evolving as positive cases, though still relatively low, are increasing — and the strict, country-wide lockdown that has been in effect for a month is anticipated to last another month.

NYF responded early by enacting an emergency-preparedness plan protecting those already in our care. Patients at the New Life Center (NLC) who were healthy enough to leave Kathmandu have returned to their home villages with their medication. Approximately four orphaned children remain at the NLC under lockdown, with nurses to care for them. Thanks to your generous support, these four boys are doing well and keeping busy by making art, getting regular exercise, and resting well. 

As this pandemic continues to develop, NYF is committed to keeping the vulnerable communities in our care safe and healthy. This pandemic is especially hard for those who are HIV-positive — and we are taking every precaution we can to protect these four boys in our care. 

We are so deeply touched by the ongoing concern and support from the NYF Family — thank you.

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Just three days after she was born,“Sanjiya” lost her father. She lived with her older sister and struggling mother, but her mother also tragically died when Sanjiya was three. Her desperately poor maternal grandmother was the only person left in their family to look after the girls.

All the while, Sanjiya endured nearly constant illness - never quite being healthy enough to enjoy her childhood.

When Sanjiya turned 12, she became terribly sick, with rashes all over her body, a severe cough, and a very high fever. Her grandmother rushed her to a hospital in Kathmandu, where she was diagnosed as being HIV-positive.

After they treated Sanjiya's infection, the hospital referred her to our New Life Center (NLC) - NYF’s specialized holistic treatment center for HIV-positive children and their caretakers.

When she first arrived, Sanjiya was severely malnourished, and had difficulty breathing. Her CD4 count was extremely low at below 300, while an average healthy person is at 500+.

Thanks to generous friends like you, Sanjiya’s health has dramatically improved at the NLC. Her weight increased by 16 lbs within 3 months, and the last of the rashes on her skin have cleared up. She is expected to be discharged soon - but in the meantime, is happy to be surrounded by other children at the NLC.

We are so grateful for all of your support in helping children like Sanjiya receive life-saving medical care. Thank you!

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Life-saving treatment at NYF's New Life Center
Life-saving treatment at NYF's New Life Center

At two years old, HIV-positive "Asmita" was rushed to the New Life Center with diarrhea and a high fever.  Though she had already been receiving antiretroviral (ARV) medicine at a local hospital, she now needed a more specialized treatment process. Her illness had become life-threatening.

When Asmita first arrived at the Center, she was severely malnourished at only 13.5 Ib. She was lethargic, weak, and cried all the time. After 20 days of proper care and a carefully calculated diet, Asmita regained a healthy body weight of 16.8 Ib — and her physical health transformed her personality. She became livelier, and began to socialize, chat, and play with other children.

To protect the privacy of the people in our care, we are unable to share a photo of Asmita — but we are happy to report that she has returned home a healthy and active little girl. Thank you for helping to support Asmita's life-saving treatment - we're so incredibly grateful to you!

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Classes at the New Life Center
Classes at the New Life Center

A transitional safe haven for HIV-positive children and their caretakers, NYF’s New Life Center provides residents with intensive medical care, psychological counseling, and educational activities. This spring, the New Life Center welcomed 17 new children.

Most of the children arrived at the New Life Center severely malnourished and with multiple infections. For three months, each child was nursed back to health with antiretroviral therapy, anti-tubercular treatment, and prophylaxis treatment — combined with nutritious meals, counseling, and other necessary medical care.

During their stay, the children and their caretakers also participated in various recreational activities to keep their experiences at the center positive and healthy. And as treatment is holistic at the New Life Center, it also included teaching parents and guardians about nutrition and reproductive health.

Thanks to your support, five of these children have already recovered and returned home! The remaining children are expected to be discharged soon.

Here’s to the children and their much-improved health. Here’s to what you - our caring supporters - make possible. Thank you always!

Treatment for HIV/AIDS
Treatment for HIV/AIDS

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Organization Information

Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF)

Location: Sausalito, California - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @nepalyouthfound
Project Leader:
Julie Pofsky
Associate Director of Development
Sausalito, California United States
$2,697 raised of $5,000 goal
 
53 donations
$2,303 to go
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