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 Health  Zambia Project #6672

Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia

by Power of Love Foundation
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Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Health Care for 450 HIV+ Children in Zambia
Children in Matero
Children in Matero

Thank you for your continued support for our pediatric HIV care program. With your support, we are seeing a reduced incidence of HIV in our community, and fewer new HIV infections especially amongst children born to HIV+ moms. A critical element of our pediatric HIV care program is the training in HIV prevention and care provided to families of all 350 HIV+ children. In addition, pregnant women are provided with education on PMTCT (Prevention of Mother to child transmission) of HIV to maximize the chances that the new born child is HIV free. A brief description of PMTCT and its impact is given below.

What is Prevention of Mother to Child transmission of HIV (PMTCT): The transmission of HIV from a HIV-positive mother to her child during pregnancy, labor, delivery or breastfeeding is called mother-to-child transmission. In the absence of any intervention, transmission rates range from 15% to 45%. This rate can be reduced to below 5% with effective interventions during the periods of pregnancy, labor, delivery and breastfeeding. These interventions primarily involve antiretroviral treatment for the mother and a short course of antiretroviral drugs for the baby. They also include measures to prevent HIV acquisition in the pregnant woman and appropriate breastfeeding practices.

Impact of PMTCT: Over the last five years (with PMTCT intervention), 100% of children were born HIV negative, even though their moms and older siblings are HIV+. In addition, with better knowledge about HIV prevention, women in the PMTCT group, encourage others to go in for testing for HIV which is the first step toward prevention and spread of HIV.  Here are stories of two children who were born HIV free even though their moms and siblings are HIV+.

Ben: Martha’s older son is HIV+ and is enrolled in our pediatric HIV care program. When Martha became pregnant with Ben, she was provided with PMTCT intervention during her pregnancy. As a result, Ben was born HIV free, continues to maintain his HIV negative status and is now a healthy four-year old. Martha shared with us that she did not know that she could deliver a child free of the HIV and is thrilled that her younger son is HIV free.

Edgar: Edgar’s older sister Charity is enrolled in our pediatric HIV care program. In 2011, when Charity's mom became pregnant with Edgar, she was enrolled in our PMTCT program. As part of the PMTCT intervention, she was provided with counseling, guidance, and monitoring of her medication regimen. Edgar was born HIV free and continues to maintain his negative status. Edgar, now an active five year old, participates in the Saturday afternoon Safe Park program.

The training and education provided to families in our pediatric HIV care program, has led to more open discussions about HIV prevention and care, fewer new HIV infections, and zero new HIV infections in children born to HIV+ moms. We believe that with proper education and intervention we can eliminate HIV infection in new born children.

Thanks for giving the gift of health to a vulnerable child.

Grandma with child
Grandma with child
Mom with baby and child
Mom with baby and child
Grandma with her grandson
Grandma with her grandson

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A child with her mom
A child with her mom

Happy Mother’s Day! This Mother’s Day help a mom/grandma keep her children and grandchildren healthy and in school. Your continued support for orphans and vulnerable HIV+ children and their families is creating a legacy of healthy children and families who know how to prevent HIV, and a stronger more self-reliant community in Zambia.

Goals: The goal of this program is create a stronger more self-reliant community by equipping families with the right tools to take care of the health of their HIV+ children, their own health, and prevent new HIV infections.

Typical beneficiaries: Direct beneficiaries are children and their caregivers as they have been disproportionately impacted by the HIV and AIDS epidemic in Africa. In Zambia alone, there are 1.4 million orphans (10% of the total population) in a population of just 14 million. Most children in our program are cared for by single moms/grandmothers who are the sole caregivers for multiple orphaned children/grandchildren. Many orphans are cared for and live in households headed by an older sibling or a grandmother

Short term Impact: This program is making a significant impact by leading to improved health outcomes for children, and reduced stigma associated with HIV. In 2016, the diet and nutrition of all 350 HIV+ children improved so that no child is undernourished or malnourished. An improvement in health is measured by a sustained increase in weight, higher CD4 counts, and fewer opportunistic infections. Last year, 149 children gained weight and 52 children saw an increase in their CD4 counts; only three children lost weight and two had reduced CD4 counts. Further, opportunistic infections have been prevented/treated before they can compromise a child’s health. Second, psychosocial counseling provided helps improve a child’s mental health and helps them grow normally. This together with the provision of education in prevention of HIV led to 240 family members going in for testing for HIV. Third, no child was born HIV positive over the last six years. Fourth, monitoring and training in adherence resulted in a 98% adherence to medication amongst our children. And finally, 95% of children eligible for school are attending school.

Long term Impact: This program is making a long term sustainable impact in the following ways:

(i) Family members are better informed about HIV prevention and care,

(ii) There are fewer new HIV infections,

(iii) Stigma associated with HIV is reduced as more people get tested and start medication, and

(iv) Better health of children leads to a higher attendance in school and better school performance. 

Children in Matero are growing up in extremely difficult circumstances. They need your support to stay healthy and live close to normal lives. 

Thanks for giving the gift of health to a vulnerable HIV+ child.

Getting a health check-up
Getting a health check-up
A beneficiary family
A beneficiary family
One of the boys in the program
One of the boys in the program

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One of the families in our program
One of the families in our program

Our Program Strengthens Vulnerable Children and Families

Families in our pediatric HIV care program truly appreciate your continued support and dedication to provide health care services to 350 HIV+ orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia. The goal of this program is to strengthen the community by equipping families with tools to take care of their HIV+ children. Family members of children are provided with training in caring for an HIV+ child, and education in HIV prevention. Children are provided with psychosocial counseling to help adjust better to their positive status, trained in adherence to medication, and provided with education on safe sex and STI's. In the short term these interventions, lead to a better understanding of HIV, an improvement in the health of children, and an improvement in school attendance and performance. Also, with better understanding of HIV, the children grow up to be more self-reliant and make better decisions regarding their health. In the medium and long term, we are seeing happier children, a lower incidence of HIV, reduced stigma, and stronger families. 

Meet our heroes: We would like you to meet two children who have inspired us with their coping skills and love for learning amidst difficult circumstances. 

Alex is 14 years old and joined us in 2016. His lives with his parents, both HIV+, and three siblings. His father is unemployed but gets a small income as he has rented out one room. Alex tested positive when he was three years old but did not start treatment. His health has been poor for the last several years; he was suffering from fever, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. After enrolling in our program, he was provided with food, medicines, counseling, and training. Over the last few months, Alex’s health has improved, he is gaining weight, and his immune system is stronger. He is aware of his status and adheres to medications on his own. Alex is studying in grade seven, interacts well with peers and likes school. We are proud of Alex for learning to be self-reliant regarding his health and medication regimen.

Daisy is eight years old and the youngest in a family of five children. She is the only one who is HIV+ amongst her siblings.  She lost her dad to TB in 2013 and is cared for by her mom who is on treatment for HIV. There are total of six people in her home and they manage to eat two meals per day as her mom sells used shoes. However, it is difficult for Daisy’s mom to pay for expenses like rent, medicines and school. Daisy has been on treatment since she was a baby. Before she was enrolled, she complained of ear discharge, and skin rashes. Since joining our program her health is better and she can attend school regularly. She likes school and is studying in grade 2.

Thanks again for your dedication to provide care to orphans and vulnerable children like Alex and Daisy.  

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A child with our community health worker
A child with our community health worker

The Power of Love team would like to wish you a happy holiday season and express thanks for your caring, encouragement, and support throughout the year. 2016 was an extraordinary year for families in our pediatric HIV care program. Here are some key achievements:

  • Added 100 HIV+ children bringing the total number of children in our care to 350. At the time of enrollment, the new children were quite sick – many were malnourished and their immune system was weak (measured by CD4 counts). Our Nurse and community health workers created a customized health plan for each child, and worked diligently to stabilize their health. Today, most children have improved in health as measured by an increase in weight, and higher CD4 counts.
  • Zero new HIV infections: In 2016, (as in the past six years) 100% of children born to HIV+ moms were HIV free even though they have HIV+ siblings.
  • More than 240 family members came forward for voluntary counseling and testing for HIV. This is critical in the prevention and spread of HIV.
  • All 350 families in our program are more knowledgeable about HIV prevention and care, so they can take better care of their children and other sick family members.

These outcomes have led to less discrimination, reduced stigma, and a more self-reliant and stronger community. A big thank you! We could not have achieved any of this without your support. 

Plans for 2017: We are raising funds to add 100 HIV+ children bringing the total number of children in our care to 450. All children will receive food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services that include weekly health visits, psychosocial counseling, education in prevention of HIV, and training and monitoring in adherence to ARV medication. In addition, family members will receive training in HIV care and prevention so that the child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7.

Our holiday treat for you: Please take a moment to enjoy this short video, that showcases two little girls learning to dance with older kids. We are sure this video will brighten your day.

Sending you a giant wave of love and best wishes for a joyful holiday season.

A family in their home
A family in their home
A typical child in our program
A typical child in our program
Children playing playing outside their home
Children playing playing outside their home

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Health Check up by the Nurse
Health Check up by the Nurse

The families in our pediatric HIV care program truly appreciate your continued support and dedication to provide health care services to orphans and vulnerable HIV+ children in Zambia. The goal of this program is to strengthen the community by equipping families with tools to take care of their HIV+ children. Family members of children are provided with training in caring for an HIV+ child, and education in HIV prevention. This leads to an improvement in the health of the children, prevention of HIV, and reduction in stigma associated with HIV.

Over the last year, our program has taken big strides forward. We would like to share these exciting developments with you.

Big Strides Taken in the Past 12 months:

  1. Addition of 100 Children: We were able to add 100 children in 2016 bringing the total number of HIV+ children in our care to 350. At this time, the new children are undergoing a complete health exam and health care professionals are designing a health plan for each child for the next 6-12 months. 
  2. We continue to achieve our goal of zero new HIV infections: In the last five years 100% of children born to HIV+ moms were HIV free. Pregnant women are enrolled in our PMTCT (Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV) program so that we can maximize the chances of the new born child being HIV free.   
  3. Training Provided to Family members: Over the last two years 165 family members have been provided training in HIV prevention and care. This ensures that family members can identify and get treatment for infections in a timely manner to prevent escalation of the infection that can compromise a child’s health. Also, family members trained in HIV prevention and care share their knowledge with others in the community. This leads to improved knowledge, and better health for the entire community making it stronger.  
  4. HIV Prevention: As a result of better knowledge about HIV, more than 240 family members have come forward for testing for HIV. This is critical for prevention and spread of HIV.
  5. Children Graduated: Over the last two years, 34 children turned 18 years of age and were graduated from the program. Some of these children come back as volunteers and are wonderful role models for younger children.
  6. Improvement in health: New children added to the program over the last 12 months are improving in health (measured by an increase in weight) and their immune system has become stronger (measured by an increase in CD4 count). Prior to enrollment most children complain of diarrhea, skin rashes, cough, malnourishment, and TB. However, once they have been on the program for 4-5 months, their health improves and they start attending school regularly HIV+ children in Zambia healthy and in school.  

    We could not have achieved any of this without your support. Thanks again for your dedication to keep orphans and vulnerable HIV+ children in Zambia healthy and in school.  

Children coming back from School
Children coming back from School
A child in our program
A child in our program
A young boy in conversation with a health worker
A young boy in conversation with a health worker

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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
$21,578 raised of $30,000 goal
 
232 donations
$8,422 to go
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