Health
 Zambia
Project #6672

Health Care for 50 HIV positive children in Zambia

by Power of Love Foundation

The Power of Love team would like to wish you a very happy holiday season and express thanks for your caring, encouragement, and support throughout the year. Your support has given the gift of health and well-being to several hundred HIV+ children and their families in Zambia. Some of our key accomplishments over the last few years are:

1. Survival rate of 98% for HIV+ infants over a 10-year period

2. Zero new HIV infections: 97% of live births to HIV+ mothers are HIV-free.

3. Incidence of malaria co-infection reduced by 98%.

Plans for 2016: We are planning to add 50 HIV+ children to our pediatric HIV care program, bringing the total number of children to 300. The 50 new children (and the 250 children currently on the program) will receive food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services. In addition, primary caregivers of each child will receive training in caring for an HIV+ child so that the child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7. As a result of this continuous quality care, all children show an improvement in health so that they can attend school and live close to normal lives.      

We would not have reached our goals without you. Please take a moment and treat yourself to this short video in which our children are singing and playing a popular Zambian game called "Chiligogogogo chili paliwe". We are confident that this video will brighten your day. 

Have a wonderful holiday season filled with family, friends, and laughter!

Thank you!

                  

Links:

The Power of Love team would like to thank you for your continued support for our pediatric HIV care program in Zambia. Your support and caring has gone a long way in improving the lives of several hundred children and families infected/impacted by HIV, AIDS and malaria. This program is located in the community of Matero - one of the largest and poorest in Lusaka, Zambia. In addition, Matero is characterized with a high incidence of HIV, AIDS, and malaria, and unemployment rates upwards of 60%. Since most residents are poor and live on less than a dollar a day, they are unable to pay for basic health care services for their HIV+ children and can benefit from this program.

With your generous support, we were able to expand our pediatric HIV care program by adding 50 HIV+ children in February 2015. This brings the total number of children in our program to 250. Each of these 250 children receives food, medicines, and a package of life-saving health care services. The package of services includes weekly home visits from community health workers, monthly visits from the Project Nurse, psychosocial counseling, education on prevention of HIV, and adherence to medication monitoring and training. In addition, we provide ongoing training in caring for an HIV+ child to caregivers (most are grandmothers caring for multiple children). As a result, most children improve in health and enjoy a better quality of life.

Impact

Since 2004, more than 600 HIV+ children have benefitted directly and an additional 1600 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. It has been our experience that after a few months on our program the children improve in health and are able to go back to school. 

Given below are a few measures of the impact of this program over the last year or so.

  • Health: Over the last year, the diet and nutrition of all children has improved leading to increased weight, fewer infections, and higher CD4 counts (which is good as it can delay the start of antiretroviral medication). In the first nine months 2015, 44 children showed an increase in weight and 17 children showed an improvement in CD4 counts; only three children had lower CD4 counts and four children lost weight. Also, we have seen a marked decline in the number, intensity and frequency of opportunistic infections.  
  • Education: Older children and caregivers have a better understanding of HIV prevention and care. In addition, trained caregivers share their knowledge with others leading to a more informed community.
  • Reduction in Stigma: As a result of better information about HIV, and improved health of the children there is a reduction in the stigma associated with HIV.
  • Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) program: Over the last four years, 100% of new born babies were HIV free even though their moms and siblings are HIV positive. Since inception of this PMTCT component 31 children out of a total of 32 were born HIV free.   
  • Adherence to Medication and Clinic Visits: Older children who are aware of their HIV+ status received training in adherence to medication. As of September 2015, there was 100% compliance to medications.
  • Schooling: All children who are eligible for school are attending school. An improvement in health due to better nutrition and continuous medical care has led to a higher school attendance and performance. We are proud as 90% of the children who wrote grade seven exams (this exam determines eligibility for middle school) passed.
  • Screening for Cancer/HIV: All caregivers are tested for HIV and provided with counseling. Out of a total of 218 caregivers, 190 were tested and 159 tested positive for HIV. HIV positive caregivers were provided with counseling.
  • Malaria Prevention: As a result of provision of bed nets and education on prevention of malaria, the incidence of malaria has decreased.

Overall, our pediatric HIV care program benefits 250 HIV+ children directly, and an additional 1600 children and family members indirectly as our trained caregivers share their learning with others in the community. We believe that provision of continuous quality health care to the children, and training and support to their care givers, has resulted in better health and attendance at school. Finally, the residents of Matero have come to rely on our much needed health care services and we have become an integral part of this community.

Next Steps: Our focus for 2015 and beyond continues to be the provision of a quality health care and training in HIV prevention to the children and families, business training and micro loans to women, and mosquito bed nets and education on prevention of malaria to the community. The ripple effects of this comprehensive approach are huge and long lasting for the community.

Please donate generously to help HIV positive children continue to play, attend school, and live healthy lives. And as always, 100% of your donations go towards programs and no part is used for overheads.

Thanks for your gift of health.

Links:

Today, we would like you to meet Colin (not his real name), one of the 250 HIV positive children in our pediatric HIV care program in Zambia. Colin is 11 years old and lives with his grandma. Last year, he got sick, tested positive for HIV and started ARV medication. To keep Colin from developing full-blown AIDS, it is critical that he take his medicines on time to prevent opportunistic infections that can compromise his health. As part of the pediatric HIV care program, our Project Nurse is counseling and educating his grandmother on how best to prevent infections and take care of Colin. In addition, he is visited weekly by a child health care worker for a check-up, psycho-social counseling and monitoring compliance with his medication regimen. In addition, his grandma has been provided with training in caring for an HIV positive child so that he is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7. At this time, Colin’s health is stable, and he is gaining weight. We are proud of Colin for being an active and playful fourth grader in spite of his poor health last year.  

At this time Colin receives food, medicines, weekly home visits from a community health worker, continuous monitoring of his health by the Nurse, and psycho social counseling. In the next few months Colin will start to receive education on prevention of HIV and training in adhering to his medication regimen. As a result of continuous quality care, his health has improved significantly in the last year. We are confident that Colin will continue to improve in health, attend school, and be happy as children should be. Colin loves school and inspire us with his playfulness and energy.

Please donate generously to help HIV positive children like Colin continue to play, attend school, and live healthy lives. And as always, 100% of your donations go towards programs and no part is used for overheads.

Thanks for your support and caring.

Links:

Happy Father's day! Help us celebrate fathers by giving a gift of health to an HIV positive child in Zambia.

Power of Love’s pediatric HIV care program continues to provide a comprehensive package of life saving health care services to 250 HIV positive children in Zambia. The package of health care services includes 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, primary caregivers of children are provided with training in HIV care and prevention. The training program was developed with the help of volunteers from the Harvard School of Public Health and is especially designed for women caregivers in Zambia.

Why do we need to Train Family Members? We believe that the training and support provided to caregivers (most are single moms and many are grandmothers caring for multiple orphans) has played a key role in improving the health of our children. Post training, caregivers are able to identify different kinds of opportunistic infections common among HIV positive children at home and are able to escalate care to the next higher level. Since the child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7, most children to improve/stabilize in health. In addition, once the child has been on the program for 4-5 the frequency and severity of opportunistic infections is reduced.

Impact: As a result of the training, caregivers feel better equipped to take care of their HIV positive children and others in their family. Trained family members builds a stronger community and the ripple effect is huge as caregivers share their knowledge and experience with others in the community.  

We are happy that 90% of the children in our program continue to improve in health and are living close to normal lives. 

Thanks for your caring and compassion. 

Links:

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Power of Love team would like to thank you for supporting our pediatric HIV care program in Zambia. As a result of your generosity we were able to add 50 HIV+ children last month. With the addition of these children, we will have a total of 250 HIV+ children who are receiving a comprehensive package of life saving health care services and will do so till they turn 18 years of age. This package includes 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, caregivers (most are single moms and many are grandmothers caring for multiple orphans) of children completed a five day training in caring for an HIV positive child.

We would like to share stories of two children enrolled in our program last March. These two children are typical and their experiences can provide a baseline for assessment of the impact of our program on the health and well-being of most children.

Theresa (name changed) is 13 years old, both her parents are HIV+ and she is on ARV medication. She is living with her mom, stepfather, and two siblings. Her stepfather does not have a full time job so it is difficult for him to support the whole family. Her mom is expecting a new baby and has been enrolled in Power of Love's PMTCT program to ensure that the baby is born HIV free. Theresa joined our program due to her difficult family situation and poor health. At this time, she is receiving food, medicines and weekly health checkups from our community health worker, psycho-social counseling, and education on prevention of STI’s. Her mom received training in caring for an HIV+ child so she can prevent/identify/treat infections or escalate care to the next higher level of medical care. We are confident that Theresa will benefit from the care provided, will start to improve in health, and attend school.

Cole (name changed) is a five year old boy, and the youngest of three siblings. He lives with his parents who are both on treatment for HIV. He tested positive for HIV six weeks after birth. In 2014, he was very sick due to severe malnutrition and was in hospital for a month. He has been receiving a high protein soya supplement in addition to food, medicines and weekly visits from our community health worker/Nurse. His mom was trained in caring for an HIV+ child so that she can prevent/treat common infections before they compromise his health. We are happy that Cole is showing signs of better health already and has started gaining weight slowly. We are confident that his health will continue improve in the coming months and that he can start school next year. He is an active boy and plays well with his peers.

Thanks for giving children like Theresa and Cole a chance to live close to a normal and healthy, active life. 

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
$6,382 raised of $10,000 goal
 
80 donations
$3,618 to go
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