Health
 Zambia
Project #6672

Health Care for 50 HIV positive children in Zambia

by Power of Love Foundation
Vetted
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

Links:

A  beneficiary family with the Project Nurse
A beneficiary family with the Project Nurse

The Power of Love team truly appreciates your continued support for our pediatric HIV care program in Zambia. Your support and caring has given the gift of health to several hundred children and families infected/impacted by HIV, AIDS and malaria. Beneficiary families  are residents of Matero – one of the largest and poorest compounds in Lusaka, Zambia.

Over the last few months, some of the new programs and activities that were implemented are listed below:

Expansion: In March 2016, we added 50 HIV+ children to our pediatric HIV care program bringing the total to 300 children. The new children have been tested for HIV, and a customized health plan has been designed for all children. In addition, the health of these new children is being monitored closely as they were in poor health at the time of enrollment. As part of the expansion activities, 65 family members (61 women and 4 men) were trained in HIV care and prevention so that their children are under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7.

In this set of 50 children, only nine live with both parents; creating the need for psychosocial counseling and support. Most of the new children are in the age group of 6-12 years so we expect them to be with us till they graduate high school.

Children Graduated: In November 2015, 21 children graduated from our pediatric HIV care program as they turned 18 years of age and these children were replaced with new enrollees.

Zero New HIV Infections: One of our big achievements over the last five years has been zero new HIV infections. Since 2011, 100% of the babies born in our Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) program, have been HIV free. To date, out of the 33 babies born only one child was HIV+, even though the new born babies have HIV positive moms and older siblings.

Pilot Electronic Health Records (EHR): A pilot version of a simple EHR system was implemented last November. The EHR system is being customized and once this is complete data for all 300 children will be entered into the system. We will then be able to track the health (medical history, past infections, new infections etc.) of each child This will have huge impact on our ability to monitor, diagnose and treat infections and we are confident will lead to improved health outcomes and cost management.

Next Steps: In October 2016, we are planning on adding 50 children to bring the total number of children under our care to 350.

Measuring Success and Direct Impact of our Pediatric HIV care Program 

Given below are a few measures of the success of this program. 

Health:

(i) As a result of better diet and nutrition most children improved in health as seen by increased weight, fewer infections, and higher CD4 counts. In 2016, all children except 13 reduced in weight and nine had a drop in their CD4 counts. A large number of opportunistic infections were prevented/treated before they could compromise a child’s health.

(ii) Psycho social counseling provided has led to better health and a sense of belonging in the community.

(iii) Training in adherence to medication has led to 100% compliance to medication.  Older children were able to visit the clinic on their own.

(iv) Screening for Cancer/HIV: Family members have come forward for HIV testing as they are counselled to go in for testing for HIV and cancer screening.

(v) As a result of provision of bed nets and education on prevention of malaria, the incidence of malaria has decreased. In 2015/16, only two children contracted malaria, were treated and are doing well.

Reduction in Stigma: As a result of the provision of education in prevention of HIV, older children and adults are better informed about HIV, and share their knowledge with others in the community. This has led to a reduction in the stigma associated with HIV.

Zero new HIV Infections: Over the last five years, 100% of new born babies were HIV free. Since inception, 33 out of a total of 34 children were born HIV free, even though they have HIV+ moms and siblings. 

Schooling: All children who are eligible are attending school. In April 2016, five children were supported with funds for school fees and expenses (to date 25 children have been provided with such support). In addition, every Saturday morning, children are invited to participate in educational games and activities and homework help is provided. This has led to higher school attendance and performance. Families of children are counselled as needed.

To Sum: Survival rates for children are approximately 95%, opportunistic infections drop to 20-25% of pre-enrollment levels once the child has been on the program for 3-4 months, there is a marked improvement in the malnutrition levels (which can aggravate the effects of HIV), there is a reduction in stigma associated with HIV, and school attendance is higher. Since 2004, more than 600 HIV+ children have benefitted directly and an additional 1900 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. We believe that provision of continuous quality health care and training and support to care givers, has resulted in better health of the family and higher attendance at school. Finally, residents of Matero have come to rely on our much needed health care services and we have become an integral part of this community.

Thanks for caring!

Children in our program
Children in our program
A dad whose child is in our program
A dad whose child is in our program
Health check up in a beneficiary family
Health check up in a beneficiary family's home

Links:

Father’s day is June 19! This Father’s Day, celebrate fathers everywhere by giving a gift of health to an HIV+ child in Zambia. Your donation will help provide food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services to HIV+ children from an impoverished community in Zambia. In addition, family members of the children will be trained in HIV care and prevention.

Today, we would like you to meet two children who are enrolled in Power of Love’s pediatric HIV care program. Since joining Power of Love’s pediatric HIV care program, the health of these children has stabilized, they are able to attend school, and are living close to normal lives. 

Gwen (name changed) is 15 years old. She lives with her parents who are both HIV+, six siblings, and three others. She and three of her siblings are enrolled in our pediatric HIV care program. She was tested for HIV in 2002 as she was not gaining weight and suffered from frequent chest infections. Gwen and her mom joined our program due to her poor health. Once in our program, Gwen started ARV medication and treatment. Since then her health is stable and she is gaining weight. As a result of her receiving psycho-social counseling and training in adherence to medication, she adheres well to medication and goes for clinic appointments on her own. She likes school and is studying in grade seven.

George (name changed) was born in 2006 and lives with his grandmother as his parents are divorced. He was sick since he was a few months old and was treated at the hospital. In 2011, he was severely malnourished and suffering from pneumonia. George joined our pediatric HIV care program, was treated for pneumonia and other chest infections at the hospital and tested positive for HIV (his parents are HIV+). A few years, back he started ARV medication as his health was not improving. Since then his health has stabilized and he has not had a major illness. He attends school and loves playing with his friends.

To Sum: At this time, we have 300 HIV+ children like Gwen and George, under our care. All children receive food, medicines and package of life saving health care services. In addition, children who are malnourished receive a high protein soya supplement.  After a few months on the program, most children start gaining weight, show an improvement in health, start attending school regularly, and participate in games and activities with their peers.  

Thanks for your caring and support. 

Links:

Happy Mother’s Day! This Mother’s Day help a Mom/Grandma keep her children/grandchildren healthy.

You will be happy to know as a result of your generosity and caring, we were able to add 50 children to our pediatric HIV care program last March. We now have 300 children under our care! Each of these 300 children receive food, medicines, and a package of life-saving healthcare services until they turn 18 years old. In addition, each child will have a personalized health plan for 2016. The 50 new children just completed a comprehensive health check-up last month. We are confident that over the next few months the new children will improve in health as measured by a sustained increase in weight and CD4 counts, so that they are able to attend school regularly.   

Children enrolled in November 2015: Last November, 15 children who were in very poor health were added to our pediatric HIV care program. Since then these children have been receiving food, medicines, weekly health visits from community health workers, regular visits from the Project Nurse, psycho-social counseling, education in HIV prevention, and adherence monitoring and training for older children. In addition, family members (most are single moms and many are grandmothers caring for multiple orphans) were trained in HIV care and training. As a result of this quality care, the health of all 15 children has stabilized, and they are able to attend school.  

Thanks for your caring and support. 

Links:

Expanding our Pediatric HIV care program: You will be happy to know that as a result of your generosity and support, we added 50 HIV positive children to our pediatric HIV care program this month. The children will be receiving food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services till they turn 18 years of age. The package of health care services includes weekly health visits from community health workers, regular visits from the Project Nurse, psycho-social counseling, education in HIV prevention, and adherence monitoring and training for older children. In addition, primary caregivers (most are single moms and many are grandmothers caring for multiple orphans) will be undergo a five day training in caring for an HIV positive child.

Impact of this program:  Once the child has been under our care for 4-5 months, the child stabilizes in health; this is indicated by a reduced frequency and intensity of opportunistic infections. In subsequent months, the child improves in health; this is indicated by a sustained gain in weight, and higher CD4 counts. As the children stabilize and improve in health, they miss fewer days of school and perform better at school. In addition, the child’s caregiver has better understanding of HIV, the importance of keeping children in school, and in caring for HIV+ children, and other sick members in the family. As knowledge about HIV care and prevention improves, family members begin to come forward for testing for HIV, which is the first step in prevention of this disease. Finally, trained caregivers share their knowledge about HIV care and prevention with others in the community

Training to Caregivers:  Caregivers of children are provided with a five day training in HIV care, and prevention. The goal of this training is to equip family member in basic nursing skills and psychosocial counseling so that the child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7.  Post training, family members are able to take better care of different kinds of opportunistic infections common among HIV+ children at home and are able to escalate care to the next level. As a result, most children stabilize and improve in health (measured by fewer opportunistic infections, gain in weight, higher CD4 counts), once they have been on our program for 4-5 months. 

Profile of the New Children: The new children range in age from two to sixteen years with a majority of them in the age range from 6-12 years and most between 2-16 years. Since most of the children are of school going age, our goal is to ensure that children attend school and also educate caregivers on the importance of keeping children in school. Our goal is for these children to stay heathy and graduate middle, and high school.

To Sum: With the addition of 50 children, we will have a total of 300 HIV+ children that receive food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services. We are confident that these children will show a marked improvement in health in the coming months, attend school and live close to normal lives.

Thanks for your gift and health to children in Zambia.

Links:

 

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Organization Information

Power of Love Foundation

Location: San Diego, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​www.poweroflove.org
Project Leader:
Alka Subramanian
Founder/Director
San Diego, CA Zambia
$7,711 raised of $10,000 goal
 
120 donations
$2,289 to go
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