Health  Zambia Project #6672

Health Care for 100 HIV+ children in Zambia

by Power of Love Foundation Vetted since 2010 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Project of the Month Site Visit Verified
Nat with his family
Nat with his family

In 2017, generous donors such as yourself helped raise more than $50,000 for Power of Love's pediatric HIV care program in Zambia. These funds were used to implement diverse program activities that range from the provision of food, medicines, regular health check-ups, education in prevention of HIV, psycho-social counseling, and training in adherence to medication to 350 HIV+ children. In addition, family members were trained in caring for an HIV+ child and in prevention of HIV. As a result, here are some heartwarming numbers from the field:

1. Direct beneficiaries are 350 HIV+ children and indirect beneficiaries an additional 1900 orphans and vulnerable children.

2. Number of children receiving regular health check-ups and monitoring: 350

3. Number of children whose health improved as measured by a sustained weight gain: 94 

4. Number of children whose immune system strengthened as measured by an increase in CD4 count: 25

5. Children provided with counseling, education in HIV, and adherence training and monitoring: 140

6. Family members receiving counseling, and ongoing training in HIV care and prevention: 341

7. Families provided with malaria bed nets and education on malaria prevention: 341

8. Family members tested for HIV: 273

9. Family members tested positive and provided with counseling: 207

10. Children supported with school expenses: 24

11. Expecting moms provided with PMTCT intervention: 3

Over the last 13 years, survival rates for children have been approximately 98%, opportunistic infections drop to 20-25% of pre-enrollment levels once the child has been on the program for 4-5 months, there is a marked improvement in malnutrition levels, there is a reduction in stigma associated with HIV, and school attendance is higher. Our comprehensive approach takes care of physical, educational, social, psychological, and income generation, needs of the women and children. These program activities lead to large and sustained ripple effects.

We are proud of you for caring for HIV+ orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia.  

Twins born HIV free as a result of PMTCT
Twins born HIV free as a result of PMTCT
Ready for school
Ready for school

Links:

Children born HIV free
Children born HIV free

Thank you for working with us to prevent new HIV infections and provide a package of life saving health care services to 350 HIV+ orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia. Today we would like you to meet one of the children who have benefitted from your support over the past year.

Meet our hero: Mary (not her real name), who is 8 years old, lost her dad to TB when she was five years old and lives with her mom and older sister, in a one room home. Her mother works as a casual worker at a tobacco factory and can barely afford two meals in a day. In 2010, when she was a year old, she was discovered to be HIV+ when she was admitted to a hospital for a cut in her left hand. She was put on medication the same day as her CD4 count was very low. Mary's mom learned about our pediatric HIV care program while one of our health care workers was visiting a child in her neighborhood. Mary enrolled in May 2016; her mom received training in caring for an HIV+ child and in prevention of HIV; and she receives food, medicines, regular health check-ups, and psychosocial counselling. The family now eats 3 meals a day as compared to 1-2 meals before enrollment.

For the past year, Mary has had no major health complaints, and her health has stabilized as measured by a sustained increase in her weight and CD4 count. She is studying in grade two, and was ranked number one in her grade last term. In addition, she participates enthusiastically in educational games and activities with her peers.

Impact: Mary's mom says that our pediatric HIV care program has helped them significantly by providing them with nutritional support, medical care, counselling, ongoing training, and malaria bed nets. In addition, she appreciates the skills she learned during the training in HIV care and prevention. She is grateful for the program and says that the program should continue with its excellent work. When asked about suggestions for improvement she said she would like additional support for school expenses.

Over the past few years, we are seeing a reduced incidence of HIV in our community, improved health of children, and fewer missed days from school due to poor health. We attribute these successes to the comprehensive package of services provided for children and their family members.

Thanks for giving the gift of health and well-being to hundreds of children like Mary. Your support is helping keep hundreds of orphans and vulnerable children healthy and in school. 

 

Happy mom with her healthy children
Happy mom with her healthy children
Maureen is happy and healthy
Maureen is happy and healthy

Links:

The Power of Love team extends a personal and heartfelt thank you for your dedication to prevent new HIV infections, provide life saving health care services to 350 HIV+ orphans and vulnerable children, and provide training to family members. 2017 was an extraordinary year; with your help, we provided a broader set of services to a large and growing number of children and families in Zambia and India.

Please take a moment to treat yourself to this short video, in which Mary, one of the hundreds of children who benefits from your support, is getting ready for school. Mary is 12 years old, studies in grade eight and is an excellent student.  We are sure this video will bring a smile to your face.

Sending a giant wave of love to you and your family this holiday season!

Grandma and Child
Grandma and Child

Links:

Women learning about HIV prevention and care
Women learning about HIV prevention and care

Thank you for your continued support for our pediatric HIV care program in Zambia. With your support, we are seeing a reduced incidence of HIV in our community, healthier children, and fewer missed days from school due to poor health. We attribute these successes to training provided to family members before a child is enrolled in our program and ongoing training after enrollment. A brief description of the training provided to family members is given below.

Training provided to family members: In May 2017, twenty-nine HIV+ children were added to the program to replace the children who turned 18 years or older last March. Family members of the new children were provided with a five- day intensive training in basic home nursing, psychosocial care, and in HIV care and prevention. Since most of our trainees have never been to school and many do not know how to read or write, training is in Nyanza (the local language), participative, hands-on, and interactive. In this group, all trainees participated enthusiastically and contributed by discussing their experiences. In addition, ongoing training in HIV care and prevention is provided during home visits.

Some of the topics covered included:  

  • Transmission and spread of HIV.
  • Importance of sex education during the coming of age ceremonies for both girls and boys.
  • How to identify Ebola.
  • Prevention of malaria and proper use of insecticide treated bed nets.
  • Good hygiene.
  • Simple and effective responses to common conditions such as diarrhea, fever, malnutrition, and Tuberculosis.
  • How to administer and monitor ARV’s.
  • How to recognize danger signs and escalate care to the next higher level.
  • Role of the family in the upbringing of children, stages and characteristics of adolescence, and the unique needs and challenges that they face.
  • Need for regular check-ups and visits to the clinic for immunizations and vaccinations.
  • Importance of early screening for cervical and breast cancer.

Our goals for this training include:

  • Understanding the importance of sending children to school.
  • Understanding PMTCT (Prevention of Mother to Child transmission) of HIV.   
  • Learn how to care for an HIV+ child.
  • Build relationships with peers to be able to learn from one another.
  • Build on existing skills in taking care of sick children.
  • Learn basic counseling skills to support HIV+ children.
  • Gain knowledge on the prevention of malaria and use of treated mosquito nets.
  • Learn about misconceptions regarding HIV and AIDS.
  • Know what to do when the child is sick.

Impact of Training: The training and education provided to families 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. In addition, with a better understanding of HIV, family members come forward for testing for HIV, cervical and breast cancer and there is reduced stigma regarding HIV and AIDS. We believe that with proper education and intervention we can eliminate HIV infection in new born children, and improve the health of children infected with HIV.

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

Training in HIV care in progress
Training in HIV care in progress
Ready for school
Ready for school
Health check-up at home for an HIV+ child
Health check-up at home for an HIV+ child

Links:

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

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
$9,363 raised of $20,000 goal
 
167 donations
$10,637 to go
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