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
A beneficiary family
One of the boys in the program