GWED-G staff member educates HIV+ women's groups
Hello family and friends!
We hope you are all happy and healthy and that your new years are off to a wonderful start. GlobeMed at Columbia resumed our activities on January 27th after a long and restful winter break. We have two new co-presidents, Nicole Dussault and Menaka Dhingra, as well as several new members, with a final count for the spring semester of 36 staff. GWED-G has been doing quite well, and we have several great updates and progress to share with you all! Before we get started, feel free to refresh your memory on our project by reading the cheat sheet and MOU.
GWED-G officially started activities for the new year on January 7th and are continuing to work on our project; January was devoted to planning meetings and creating work plans for year 2013. In addition to planning, GWED-G began conducting several activities in the community. Pamela, the head of GWED-G, has also been traveling to Kampala to prepare for the upcoming conference in the summer, which we will share more details about in our upcoming updates.
GWED-G workers met with Village Health Teams (VHTs) to ensure their full and active participation in the implementation of our project. Each VHT conducted 3-5 outreaches per month to families of bed-ridden patients and people living with HIV/AIDS. GWED-G also provided continuous referrals to prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) and antenatal care (ANC) services for 6 mothers. The mothers were referred by VHTs and Peer Educators at the community level, including male role models who took an active role in the process. The VHT meetings are also aiming to establish new women's groups that will benefit from the livelihood projects. GWED-G is ensuring that the VHTs follow up with the criteria for selection in these groups.
Mobilization and identification of potential women as beneficiaries of our livelihood projects are ongoing. These women will be directly linked to PMTCT and ANC services at the different community health facilities. GWED-G is aiming to identify 40 expectant and lactating mothers this year. Towards the end of the year, they will ensure that these mothers have safe births and healthy babies. As of now, 10 mothers have been enrolled; the process is continuous and challenging because the number of potential beneficiaries is too high and GWED-G is having difficulty in deciding who should not be included. The enrollment process will conclude at the end of this month. The decisions on the livelihood/IGA options for the women's groups will be made once these 40 women have been identified.
In addition, follow-up was conducted on the youth groups supported by the seed distribution livelihood project. Two groups in the communities of Coke and Palema raised gardens that are growing well, yielding cabbages, eggplant, green peppers, and onions. One group's plantations were damaged by flood. One awareness raising campaign on HIV/AIDS prevention, maternal health, and newborn care was also conducted, with over 67 men, women, and youths in attendance. Issues discussed included prevention strategies, risk management, family planning, and reproductive health needs for women living with HIV/AIDS. 30 children under the nutrition program benefited from food supplements of bovine colostrum. While these supplements are being distributed, workers also educate the community on the benefits of nutritional uptakes. Mobilizations for blood screens also began, and patients on ARVs were encouraged to continue visiting health facilities in case of ill health.
As you can see, GWED-G has had an incredibly productive start to the year! We will continue updating you on their progress as the year goes on; we are very excited to see what amazing things we will accomplish together. Remember, even though our individual giving campaign is winding down there are still plenty of opportunities to donate! We appreciate your continued support and interest in our project and GWED-G's work. Feel free to visit our website for more details on our chapter and GWED-G media. A belated happy new year to you all!
GlobeMed at Columbia