Funding will support our patient caregiving program in Haiti who provide care for over 50 tuberculosis (TB) patients each month. These caregivers will help us maintain our commitment to providing a full range of integrated care for patients while our inpatient ward is closed. Caregivers act as liaisons with patients' medical teams, help with oxygen, make home visits with food and medications, send live video for consults, and arrange visits with counselors.
Our patients are used to living on a dollar or two a day. This is not be enough for them when they get sick with TB. They have few resources to fall back on. They may have HIV and have lost family to the disease or the stigma. Through our caregivers program, we provide them the helping hand they need to get through this time, which may be weeks or months, sometimes years. By helping them, they can be breadwinners in the future and we contain a dangerous infectious disease.
For TB and HIV, treatment is prevention. We are in the middle of working to reopen an inpatient clinic for critically ill TB patients. The clinic was closed by earthquake reconstruction. For the past 4 years, we have provided intensive hospital care to TB patients who had few resources. We cared for over 3000 TB patients. We now support caregivers caring for patients in need at home, just as they had in the hospital. They bring nutritious food, help provide oxygen as well as feed and bathe them.
Our patients, who have little, need a little bit extra when they are ill. The caregiving team is able to provide the services- whether bathing and feeding, or helping with oxygen or medication adherence, whether inside or outside the hospital. This is a continuum of care that is needed so that patients adhere to their medications and not spread TB or HIV or develop drug-resistant strains. Ultimately, caring for each person with kindness reduces the burden of TB and HIV.