Update on Power of Love’s Project “Health Care for HIV Positive Children in Zambia”
The Power of Love team would like to thank donors for supporting Power of Love Foundations’ pediatric AIDS care program (Arms Reach Care program) in Zambia. With your support we have been able to provide food, medicines, and a package of life-saving health services to 148 HIV positive children in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia. The package of services provided to children includes weekly health check-ups from Community Health workers, monthly visits from the Project Nurse, psychosocial counseling, and education in HIV prevention and adherence monitoring and training for older children. In addition, we provide ongoing training in HIV/AIDS care to caregivers (most of them are grandmothers) of the children.
Achievements of POL’s Pediatric AIDS care program in 2011
Impact of the Program
The pediatric AIDS care program has increased survival rates of children in the Matero compound in Lusaka, Zambia and significantly improved the quality of life of their families. This program along with the micro loans and project mosquito nets program makes the entire program comprehensive as it takes care of physical (food, medicines, malaria bed nets, training provided to caregivers), social (education, cultural), and psychological (counselling, peer support groups) needs of the women and children. In addition, education on prevention of HIV and malaria, adherence to the ARV regimen and monitoring has reduced the number of children who might have developed resistance to drugs at an early age, leading to an increase in their life span. In addition to the direct beneficiaries of this program, 1100 children are indirect beneficiaries as their care givers have several children under their care and provide guidance to others in the community.
The different components of our program have made our program sustainable and we are seeing a long term systemic change in the community.
Story of a Child who benefited from POL’s pediatric AIDS care program
Attached is a picture of Ephram who is 6 years old, but weighs only 37 lbs. Ephram is tiny, but is full of energy and is always in high spirits. Ephram loves dancing and dances to music played on his grandfather’s cell phone.
Ephram was put on ARV medication before his first birthday. POL’s project Nurse had to make a special request with the doctors to place him on ARV medication, as according to the current medical protocol children under 2 years are not given ARV medication (as you cannot determine their HIV status). It is unlikely that Ephram would have survived if he had not been put on ARV’s at that time. Fortunately, the doctors changed their minds and put him on ARV’s. After 5 years on ARV’s Ephram’s health is stable, and he is a dancing machine!
In fact, Ephram’s positive response to the medication convinced the clinic doctors to change their policy and provide medicine to other children under two years of age if necessary, rather than waiting for the child to hit a specific age mark and risking a decline in his/her health.
Plans for 2011/12
POL’s pediatric AIDS care program has matured and our focus through 2011/12 continues to be provision of food, medicines and continuous quality care to the 147 HIV positive children, and training in HIV/AIDS care to the caregivers of the children.
In 2012, we would like to expand our program to include 500 HIV positive children as there are around 3500-4000 children in the Matero compound (where our program is located) in Lusaka, Zambia alone who would benefit from a program such as ours.
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