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 Health  Zambia Project #6672

Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia

by Power of Love Foundation
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia
Health Care for 400 HIV+ children in Zambia

Executive Summary

The Power of Love team would like to thank donors who supported "Healthcare for HIV Positive Children in Zambia". With support from donors such as you, we provide food, medicines, and essential life-saving health services to 150 HIV positive children in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia. The package of services provided to children includes weekly health check-ups from Community Health workers, monthly visits from the Project Nurse, psychosocial counseling, and education in HIV prevention and adherence monitoring and training for older children. In addition, we provide ongoing training in HIV/AIDS care to caregivers (most of them are grandmothers) of the children.

As of April 30, 2011 we continue to provide food, medicines, and weekly health visits to all 150 HIV positive children enrolled in POL’s program in Lusaka, Zambia. Power of Love’s pediatric AIDS care program benefits 150 children directly and benefits an additional 1100 children indirectly. As a result of the continuous quality care provided to the children, and training to their care givers, all children are stable in health and are living close to normal lives. Below are stories of  3 children enrolled in our pediatric AIDS care program in Zambia.

Davis Phiri: Davis, the second child in a family of two, is a single orphan who is being cared for by his grandmother. Davis’ grandmother, sells charcoal for a living, and provides care to 7 other children in her household. Davis was born in July 2008 and lost his mom in 2009. Davis was very sick last December when his grandmother brought him to Power of Love’s clinic and he was enrolled in our program. Davis’s grandmother received counseling and training on HIV/AIDS care for a HIV positive child. Davis started ARV’s in January 2011; he is now in stable health and his grandmother is optimistic despite his positive HIV status.

 

Vincent Phiri: Vincent is the youngest child in a family of six and lives with his mom. Although none of his siblings have been tested for HIV, his mom tested positive when she was pregnant with Vincent in 2008. Currently, Vincent’s mother is taking ARVs to improve her health. In order to feed the family, Vincent’s mother sells different types of vegetables. Vincent’s mom was informed about Power of Love’s program by her friend whose child is also enrolled in the program. Since then Vincent has been enrolled in the program, and his mother has been able to get all her children tested.

 

Tresh Chiyanka: Tresha is 18 months old and has been part of Power of Love’s Pediatric AIDS program for the past 6 months. Tresha’s mother is also HIV+ and her father left them after Tresha’s birth. Unable to provide for herself and Tresha, Tresha’s mom moved in with Tresha’s grandmother who is already taking care of 10 other orphaned children. When Tresha enrolled in our program she was on ARV’s and was suffering from bronchitis and malnutrition. Our program provides her with high protein soya supplements, food and weekly health check-ups. As a result, she is not malnourished anymore, and is in a stable condition at present.

Future Plans

At this time, we are raising funds to continue to (i) provide food, medicines and life-saving health care services to all children in our program, (ii) train an additional 100 caregivers/grandmothers in HIV/AIDS care, (iii) ensure that all caregivers continue to be tested for cervical cancer and breast cancer screening, (vi) add a strong HIV “testing and prevention” program for the caregivers of the children to make this a more comprehensive model (with prevention, treatment, care, and economic empowerment). Please donate generously to this program so that we can improve the health of the children, the children can be back in school, and live close to normal lives.

Summary

 

In summary, this program has increased survival rates of children in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia and significantly improved the quality of life of their families. The program is comprehensive as it takes care of physical (food, medicines, malaria bed nets, training provided to caregivers), social (education, cultural), and psychological (counseling, peer groups) needs of the women and children. 

Links:

Executive Summary

The Power of Love team would like to thank donors who supported "Healthcare for HIV Positive Children in Zambia". With support from donors such as you, we provide food, medicines, and essential life-saving health services to 150 HIV positive children in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia. The package of services provided to children includes weekly health check-ups from Community Health workers, monthly visits from the Project Nurse, psychosocial counseling, and adherence monitoring and training. In addition, we provide ongoing training in HIV/AIDS care for children and support to caregivers (most of them are grandmothers) of the children.

Introduction

At POL, we believe that the long term solution to the HIV/AIDS crisis lies with the local community itself and that empowering women and making them self-reliant is a key component in solving the global HIV/AIDS crisis. POL empowers women (many of them grandmothers caring for multiple orphaned grandchildren) and makes them self-reliant through the following  multi-pronged approach: (1) by providing food, medicines and a package of health care services to the children, (2) by training mothers/grandmother/extended family caregivers in caring for their HIV infected children and orphans, (3) by providing them with micro loans and business training to start a small business, and (4) by providing long lasting insecticide treated nets to children and families vulnerable to Malaria. As a result of this comprehensive approach, over the last six years we have had a total of 235 children in our program and have lost 10 children to AIDS. Statistically, we could have lost 40 children or more as life expectancy of an HIV positive child is just five years at birth. More importantly most of the children are back in school. To learn more visit http://poweroflove.org/arms-reach-care-arc.

Some of the achievements of this program over the last six months are given below.

  1. We continue to provide food, medicines, and weekly health visits to all the children enrolled in POL’s program in Lusaka, Zambia. The addition of a high protein soya supplement (particularly for very sick children), has accelerated their weight-gain process. The soya supplement is now a regular component of the food package. As a result, the diet and nutrition level of all families has improved leading to increased weight, fewer infections, and higher CD4 counts leading to a delay in the start of antiretroviral (ARV) medication. Finally, improved nutrition and continuous medical care has led to a higher school attendance. POL added 20 children to the program (and discharged 5) to bring the total to 150 HIV positive children. To date, 140 children have been tested and all are HIV positive. Ten children along with their caregivers will be tested in March 2011. Out of the 140 HIV positive children, 81 are on ARV’s. As the numbers show 100% of the children are HIV positive and 58% are on ARV’s.  This highlights the need to provide all children with food, medicines and weekly visits by the health care worker/Nurse and to provide continuous monitoring of the health and medication regimen of the children on ARV’s. To date 150 children are direct beneficiaries of food and another 1100 children are indirect beneficiaries.
  2. In January 2011, 20 new children were enrolled in the program (5 children were discharged as they turned nineteen in January 2011, bringing the total number of children to 150). Training in HIV/AIDS care was provided to 20 caregivers. Training provided to caregivers is a crucial element of the ARC program as this ensures that the child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7. As a result of this training, family care givers are able to identify infections, and get treatment before the infection escalates into something serious and compromises the child’s health. Also, as a result of this training family care givers are able to provide better care to children in their household/community who are not enrolled in our program. After completion of training, caregivers have a better understanding of HIV and are motivated to go in for testing for HIV for themselves and encourage others in the community too. 
  3. As a result of an improvement in the health of the children, the number of opportunistic infections has been reduced. Overall, as a result of the continuous care provided to the children they are all stable in health. Proof of this provided the fact that since the inception of the ARC program, we have lost only 10 children and none have died at home. This is an astounding statistic since an HIV+ child has a life expectancy of 4-5 years in Zambia and mathematically, we could have lost at least 35-40 children to date.  
  4. All children who are eligible for school are attending school. We had 54 children who were unable to attend school due to lack of funds. In 2010, our program provided support (in terms of books, school bags, uniforms, and shoes) to all 54 children so that they are all in school. For a profile of some of the beneficiaries of this program see Annex 2, page 17 below.
  5. All children who are on ARV’s are being monitored to ensure adherence to their medication regime. So far all patients are adhering fairly well to their regimens. Most of the older children know their status and are able to adhere to the medications schedule on their own with minimal support from their care givers. Pill boxes are provided to older children to help them adhere to their medication regimen, and pediatric medicine spoons are provided to caregivers of younger children so that caregivers can give the exact dosage to the child.
  6. All children are being provided with psychosocial counseling. Children need counseling for the following reasons: a. children suffer from fear of loss as soon as a parent is diagnosed with HIV, b. children have to deal with the stigma associated with the disease, and c. if the child is orphaned she/he may have to leave familiar surroundings and may not be readily accepted by the extended family. As a result, counseling is an important part of the child’s mental health and counseling of children and family members has become an important part of our ARC program.
  7. Older children who are aware of their status are also provided education on HIV prevention, and risky sexual behaviors.
  8. All of our Community Care Assistants (CCA’s) are trained in child counseling. In addition, the CCA’s are given continuous practical and refresher training in care of HIV positive children. 
  9. Community Care Assistants attended a one day workshop to enhance their skills in breast cancer and cervical cancer counseling and identification. After training, 87 caregivers were provided with counseling, and screening for cervical and breast cancer. Two caregivers were treated successfully.

Long Term Measurable Outcomes

 Some of the metrics we used to evaluate our program include survival rates, decrease in the number of opportunistic infections, increased attendance in school, malnutrition in children before and after enrollment in the program, and testing for HIV.  Our program has done well on all of the above metrics. 

To sum, as a result of the continuous quality care provided to the children, and training to their care givers, all children are stable in health and are living close to normal lives. As of January 2011, the ARC program benefits 150 children directly and indirectly benefits an additional 1100 children. For more information visit http://www.poweroflove.org/arms-reach-care-arc.

Future Plans

 At this time, we are raising funds to continue to (i) provide food, medicines and life-saving health care services to all children in our program, (ii) train an additional 100 caregivers/grandmothers in HIV/AIDS care, (iii) ensure that all caregivers continue to be tested for cervical cancer and breast cancer screening, (vi) add a strong HIV “testing and prevention” program for the caregivers of the children to make this a more comprehensive model (with prevention, treatment, care, and economic empowerment)...

Summary

In summary, this program has increased survival rates of children in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia and significantly improved the quality of life of their families. The program is comprehensive as it takes care of physical (food, medicines, malaria bed nets, training provided to caregivers), social (education, cultural), and psychological (counselling, peer groups) needs of the women and children. 

A Brief Report on the Achievements of Power of Love’s Community Care Program in Lusaka, Zambia

Community Care Program for 135 HIV Positive Children

As result of the funds provided by donors in 2010, the children's program has been able to achieve the following milestones in the last 12 months:

1. We continue to provide food, medicines, and weekly health visits to all the children enrolled in POL’s Arms Reach Care (ARC) program in Lusaka, Zambia. The addition of a high protein soya supplement (particularly for very sick children), has accelerated their weight-gain process. The soya supplement is now a regular component of the food package.

2. POL has 135 children enrolled in the program and all children have been tested for HIV. Out of this total of 135 children, 129 are HIV positive and 84 are on ARV’s. As the numbers show 96% of the children enrolled are HIV positive and out of the 129 HIV positive children, 65% are on ARV’s. This highlights the need to provide all the children with food, medicines and weekly visits by the health care worker/Nurse and to provide continuous monitoring of the health and medication regimen of the children on ARV’s.

3. In April 2009, POL launched a program that provided funds for school fees (for secondary school), school supplies (books, uniforms, shoes, bags) for children eligible for school but unable to attend due to lack of funds.

4. All children who are on ARV’s are being monitored to ensure adherence to medication regime. So far all patients are adhering fairly well to their regimens. Most of the older children know their status and are able to adhere to the medications schedule on their own with minimal support from their care givers. In August 2009, we were able to provide older children with pill boxes to help them adhere to their medication schedule. In addition, pediatric medicine spoons were provided to caregivers of younger children so that caregivers could measure and give the exact dosage to the child.

 5. As a result of an improvement in the health of the children, 109 Family Care Givers (FCG’s) came forward for voluntary testing and 98 were found to be HIV positive. We are happy that the FCG’s are coming forward for testing as testing is the first step towards prevention of HIV.

 6. All children are being provided with psychosocial counseling. Older children who are aware of their status are also provided education on HIV prevention, and risky sexual behaviors. In addition, all 3 Community Care Assistants (CCA’s) are trained in child counseling.

7. The Community Care Assistants are given continuous practical training in care of HIV positive children.

8. Family Care Givers are more confident about their child’s health and of their ability to care for all children in their home in addition to the patient in the program. As a result of the training provided to the FCG’s they are able to respond to infections in a timely fashion (before the infection escalates into something more serious). Also, as a result of the training and weekly visits by the CCA/Nurse, the number of opportunistic infections has been reduced. Finally, since inception of the ARC program, no death has been recorded at home.

9. Adherence support: Chris Mulela, has trained the Community Care Assistants (CCAs) to ask the right questions from the caregiver and get as much information from the patient/caregiver as needed. This approach has helped the CCAs in providing adherence-support/monitoring.

10. Family care givers are encouraged to go in for cervical cancer and breast cancer screening

Challenges Faced by the Children's Program:

 1. A few family care givers are not able to follow instructions regarding care for the HIV positive child. We need ongoing support and refresher training courses for them.

 2. POL is still trying to build peer support groups for children who know their status. The support groups will discuss how to improve the quality of lives of children who are positive.

 3. For some children, the Nurse/Community Care Assistant had to increase their frequency of visit from weekly to bi-weekly in order to ensure adherence to medications.

 4. In 2011, we would like to incorporate a psycho social counseling (PSS) tool for FCGs. At the moment there are support groups available for mothers at the government clinic.

In summary, the children’s program has increased the survival rates of the children in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia and significantly improved the quality of life of their families. The program together with the micro loans program is comprehensive as it takes care of physical (food, medicines, schooling), social (environment, culture, religious issues), and psychological (counselling, peer groups) needs of the women and children. In addition, education on adherence and monitoring has reduced the number of children who might have developed resistance to drugs at an early age, leading to an increase in their life span.

The Power of Love program has matured and our focus through 2010 continues to be provision of continuous quality care to the children and micro loans to their caregivers so that they can take care of the whole family. In the next few years we hope to extend the program to the entire community of Matero (population of 175,000) in Lusaka, Zambia.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Power of Love Foundation

Location: San Diego, CA - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Power of Love Foundation
Project Leader:
Alka Subramanian
Founder/Director
San Diego, CA Zambia
$20,825 raised of $30,000 goal
 
213 donations
$9,175 to go
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