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 Health  Burundi Project #31891

Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum

by Friends Women's Association
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Providing health care to 1000s in Bujumbura slum
Parfaite after talk at Providence Friends Meeting.
Parfaite after talk at Providence Friends Meeting.

HEADS UP: December 3 is Giving Tuesday and GlobalGiving will be matching all donations on that day at 25% to 50% depending upon the total amount donated. GlobalGiving has a total of $500,000 in matching funds to distribute so it would be beneficial that FWA receive some of these funds.

Please remember to make your year-end donation to the Friends Women's Associaiton on Giving Tuesday!

The section below summarizes the work done during the month of October 2019.

SPEAKING TOURS IN THE UNITED STATES

Under the support of the African Great Lakes Initiatives (AGLI) of the Friends Peace Teams, the national coordinator of Friends Women’s Association (FWA), NTAHUBA Parfaite has continued to do speaking tours in the United States both in schools and in Friends meetings.

ACTIVITIES             Caring for HIV Positive People (CHIVPP)

During this month of October 2019, medical follow up and home visits were done for our HIV positive people.

Maternity Ward Building

We are now finished with bricking the first floor of the maternity ward building. Now,with the support from the African Great Lakes Initiatives of the Friends Peace teams, we have started building the walls of the second floor.

The estimated costs of the next steps are as follows:

  • To complete the walls of the second floor, we still need $2600
  • frame for roof: $4,000
  • 120 Iron Sheets: $2760 (23$/sheet)

Improving Women’s Reproductive Health (IWRH)

FWA community health workers and FWA staff have continued to educate men, women and young people on the importance of family planning.

Rape Survivors’ Support (RSS)

At the end of October 2019, we had a total of 54 self-help groups for a total of 1280 women

One self-help group is called EJO NI HEZA (TORRORROW LOOKS GOOD). They started with a capital of BIF13,000 (US$17). After one year on October 29, 2019, their capital was BIF3,185,800 (US$4138).

Action on Gender-Based Violence (AGBV)

During the month of October 2019, a preparation of November 2019 activities was done. MEDICAL TEAM CONSULTATIONS

120 cases were consulted by our medical doctors, including 85 adults (45 women and 40 men), 23 children (14 girls and 9 boys) and 12 HIV positive people.  The nurse received 215patients including 154 adults and 61 children.

LABORATORY

In the month of October 2019, apart from HIV voluntary testing, there were a total of 147 tests.

Test                        Test completed   Positive  Negative

G.E. Malaria test              53               20           33

Quick malaria test              7                1              6

ECBU Urine test               12                9             3

Selles Stool test               13               13            0

Pregnancy                        17               12            5

Sero-widal Typhoïd fever     27               21            6

Glycémie Diabetes             6                 3             5

RPR VDRL (Syphillis)       10                 0           10

Complete Blood Count        2                 2             0

Total Tests: 147

FAMILY PLANNING

368 people received contraceptives from FWA’s nurse, including 254 old cases and 114 new ones. 301 received the contraceptive injection, 30 were given pills, 36 received male condoms, and 1 received implant.

PRENATAL CONSULTATION (PNC)

In the month of October 2019, 33 women came for prenatal consultation (PNC), including 10 who came for PNC 1, 11 for PNC 2 and 6 for PNC 3 and 6 for PNC 4 

ANTI-RETROVIRAL SITE

At the end of October 2019, we had 327 patients under retro drugs followed at NTASEKA clinic, including 264 women and 63 men.

PHARMACY

Regarding medications, FWA was able to purchase the minimum needed medicine.

PSYCHOSOCIAL TEAM

In the month of October 2019, a total of 79 people received pre and post HIV test counseling and were tested for HIV. Out of the total number, 71% were women and all the three people detected HIV positive were women, with 4% of seropositivity.

Total Number of People Tested: 79

Total Number of Women Tested: 56

% of People Tested Who Are Women: 71%

Average Age:  27

Median Age:  26

Total HIV+ :  3

Total HIV- : 76

Number of Women HIV+ : 3

Total % Seropositivity: 4%

% of Women Tested Who Are HIV+: 5%

Second floor of maternity ward
Second floor of maternity ward
TOMORROW LOOKS GOOD self-help group
TOMORROW LOOKS GOOD self-help group
Self-help group dividing annual distribution.
Self-help group dividing annual distribution.
Women
Women's self-help support group

From Friends Journal October issue on Friends in Africa. To see the original please click here. Reprinted with permission of Friends Journal.

Empowering Women against Genderbased Violence

By Parfaite Ntahuba on October 1, 2019

Photos by Teddy Ruberintwari/Rwaga Agency.

The Story of Burundi’s Friends Women’s Association

My name is Diana. I was told that my mother threw me away when I was two months old because she and my father were always fighting. I grew up feeling that I was rejected. I got married to a soldier who has been fighting in the forest. He has now a disability in one of his legs. He has been very abusive toward me. Most of the time, he locks me in our room and beats me with his belt. I have a lot of scars all over my skin. He says I have nowhere to go because even my mother threw me away. One day, he was caught in adultery with a sex worker. He paid 100,000 Burundi francs to be released. However, he never provides for me and our two kids. I have to wash some people’s clothes in order to survive. I’m now using birth control, as it is very hard to survive with my two kids. I’m very thankful for this workshop. Most people think that I live peacefully with my husband because I have not revealed to them the way I’m surviving. This is my first time sharing this story in a group of people.

In 2002, the women from the Evangelical Friends Church were touched by the many interconnected challenges faced by the people of Kamenge, a neighborhood in the Bujumbura Mairie Province of Burundi. These difficulties include high rates of HIV/AIDS, food insecurity, and widow and femaleheaded households. There is also sexual and genderbased violence, little access to public services and employment, and psychosocial trauma resulting from war. This is how the Friends Women’s Association (FWA) started. It is a womenled organization that helps women to rebuild their lives and to care for each other.

I am the national coordinator of Friends Women’s Association. I grew up in a Catholic family. In 1993, a civil war began here in Burundi, in Central Africa, and lasted for more than ten years. Many people died, including my father, and we were forced to run from our home. We were internally displaced people (IDPs). We were hosted by a Quaker family. I experienced love and peace in that Quaker family. And in 1994, I joined the Quaker family.

There had been much violence in my family. My mother was often abused by my father. She was a homestay mother who worked very hard in the fields to provide food for the family, but she did not bring any money home. I was traumatized by my childhood. I hated violence. I thought my mother was abused because she had not received  education, which would have allowed her to get a job. This is the reason why I did my best to get a master’s degree in theological studies. Today, I’m one of only three women pastors from the Evangelical Friends Church of Burundi. One of the main reasons I was ordained as pastor was to break the gender barrier.

How did I join the Friends Women’s Association? We had been working with Ntamamiro Cassilde (Cassie), the founder of FWA. She was also the clerk of Rohero Evangelical Friends Church, and I was her assistant clerk. She often talked about FWA, and I was interested in a womenled organization. When Cassie left in 2006, Dr. Alexia Nibona succeeded her. In 2014, I became the FWA national coordinator. FWA is involved in healthcare and in peacebuilding.

FWA and Healthcare

FWA’s point of entry is health. We have two programs related to health: caring for HIV Positive People (CHIVPP) and Improving Women’s Reproductive Health (IWRH).

When FWA started in 2002, the target group was people infected with HIV/AIDS, especially women. It took 11 years (until September 2013) to be accredited by the Ministry of Health to dispense antiretroviral (ARV) treatment (ART). One of the main challenges to scaling up HIV services was that FWA didn’t have its own Complete Blood Count (CBC) machine, which establishes whether the body can handle the side effects from the ARV drugs.

At the end of December 2014, FWA had eight patients under ARV medication. Since July 2015, we have had great support from Vancouver Island (B.C.) Meeting, and today 302 HIV+ people are monitored at Ntaseka Clinic.

“I came here at Ntaseka Clinic weighing 35kg. Now I am 45kg. I was about to die, but God has used FWA to bring back my life,” said a patient named Orga after six months of ARV treatment.

We have recently extended our clinic to unveil a maternity ward to prevent the transmission from mother to child. Vancouver Island (B.C.) Meeting has provided 90 percent of the support. (We would like to call other Friends around the world to support this project. We need at least $20,000 per year to complete this project by 2020. As of this writing, we have only raised $2,500 this year.)

Burundi is a small country of 10,747 square miles and only 10.8 million people. One person subsists on less than $1.25 per day, according to the World Bank. Women suffer because of the lack of information on sexual and reproductive health. On average, each woman has six children, and around 1,071 babies are born each day. There is lots of conflict over land and even the spread of HIV/AIDS due to polygamy. This is the reason why FWA is now organizing outreach sessions to educate both men and women on the importance of birth control. In 2018, a total of 3,822 women received modern contraceptive methods at FWA’s Ntaseka Clinic, averaging 318 women per month. This should be celebrated, especially as we are working in a country in which the majority Roman Catholics are taught that birth control is a sin.

Genderbased Violence, an Alarming Challenge

Threeday workshop on human rights, women’s rights, and children’s rights under the support of Quaker Service Norway at the Ntaseka clinic training room this past June.

Many factors in Burundi contribute to the prevalence of genderbased violence (GBV). Women and girls in Burundi are widely viewed as inferior and often subjected to violence. In 2011, a study from the International Medical Corps named a number of factors which increase the vulnerability of young women and children to GBV: stress surrounding widespread poverty; limited access to job opportunities and land for cultivation; misconceptions regarding AIDS; and wrong beliefs such as one that claims having sex with a virgin can cure the disease. FWA realized that some women got HIV/AIDS through sexual violence through beneficiaries. By introducing a program called Rape Survivors Support (RSS), FWA worked to reintegrate rape survivors both psychologically and economically. GBV is rooted in our Burundian culture. For example, women are taught to keep quiet even if they suffer in their homes. That is why FWA is helping vulnerable women by creating a safe space where they can share their sad stories through traumahealing workshops. FWA has extended this program to prevent GBV by educating religious and communityelected leaders to stand against GBV. We have been working in Gitega Province for five years and now in Bujumbura.

I have long suffered violence in my home. My husband was doing all kinds of violence that you could imagine. He had four women, even a 12yearold child. He didn’t respect her. He raped me sexually. I worked alone in the fields, and he robbed all the harvest. When I bought a goat to help me, he sold it … etc.

I had no one to help me in this situation. I tried to flee to my parents, and they told me that this is how a home is founded. The consequences of this violence weighed heavily on my life. His wives mistreated me, and some of their children have become street children who come now to rob us.

The change took place after the training organized by FWA. I did not believe it at first when I saw him helping me with some household activities. I was very surprised. Now I can testify that everything has changed; we work together, he buys me clothes, we were able to build a house, we were able to buy a motorcycle … etc.

And what makes me very happy is that he can transport me on this motorcycle. He even supported me to come here today and testify.

Women’s Economic Empowerment, a Great Tool to Face Genderbased Violence

Women represent more than half of the total population of Burundi. Women are regarded as vital stakeholders in all sectors of national life. As mothers and main educators, women play an important part in the future of Burundi. Yet the level of political and economic participation of women remains very low. Their limited representation is partly related to imbalances in the education system.

FWA has been serving in Kamenge since 2002. During these recent past years, we have learned that women need economic empowerment to face GBV. The majority of women are rural and do not have economic assets. The rural woman is poor, as is her urban counterpart, and most have only limited access to credit, which is very expensive. The majority of women lack collateral to obtain loans from banks and other financial institutions.

Since January 2017, FWA has encouraged women to organize themselves into selfhelp groups. At the end of June 2019, we had a total of 47 selfhelp groups totaling 1,105 women. If we consider an average of five kids per woman, we are now toucing 5,525 children’s lives. A lot of women’s groups have supported FWA, such as Kamenge Women’s Center. Each one of the 47 groups that make up FWA needs to meet at least once a week.

FWA has recently initiated a new program, called Street Business School, to teach women how they can start a small business with very little money. At the end of May, 40 women graduated at FWA as the first graduates of Street Business School.

Testimonies

My name is Jacqueline. I live with HIV/AIDS. Before I came to FWA, I did not have the courage to work because I thought that I was disabled. I did not have the hope to live. I thought people should help me. I suffered for a long time from poverty. I was asking for shelter because I could not pay the rent.

My life was changed when I joined the credit and savings group. Thanks to the different topics covered each day before saving, I realized that I am able to change my way of life. I then felt capable of doing a great deal and changed my behavior by putting what I learned into practice. I asked for a credit to start a small business and I was able to repay. Little by little I built a small house in my own plot of land. Thanks to the credits that I asked in my savings group! In addition to that, I keep on doing my own business that helps me cover my daily needs.

My name is Marie. After the death of both my parents in 1993, I found myself in an IDP camp. In this camp, I was sexually abused by a soldier until I had two children: the first is 14 and the second is 16. When we separated with the said soldier, I became a sex worker, first in the countryside and then here in Bujumbura. I got HIV/AIDS when I was a sex worker. The reason why I came for HIV voluntary testing was that I lost weight every day. I always had headaches, a temperature, and oral thrush. When I started ARV treatment, my health began to improve. For now, I greatly appreciate the discussion groups because it is an opportunity to meet those who have the same serological status as me. I have been a member of a selfhelp group for one year. For many years, I had received training in a sewing center, but I had never managed to have capital to have my own machine. Now I was able to receive a credit of 150,000 FBu ($86) from my selfhelp group. I was able to buy a sewing machine. At the moment, my children can eat three times a day and can go to school easily.

Conclusion

Friends Women’s Association could not have done all of this work without foreign support. Our heartfelt thanks are primarily addressed to the African Great Lakes Initiative of Friends Peace Teams, which has supported us since 2002. We also recognize the significant support from Quaker Service Norway since 2008. We strongly appreciate the great support of Canadian Quakers who have supported us since 2015 through Canadian Friends Service Committee. Quakers around the world have been supporting FWA. Many thanks to all of them! Our thanks are also addressed to local nongovernmental organizations such as the Burundian Alliance Against HIV/AIDS, Family Health International, and American Friends Service Committee–Burundi. Segal Family Foundation has also been also our great partner since 20

Parfaite Ntahuba is one of the three female pastors from the Evangelical Friends Church of Burundi. She is the senior pastor in Kamenge Meeting, which has more than 2,500 members, and the national coordinator of Friends Women’s Association.

 

 

Ntaseka Clinic in action
Ntaseka Clinic in action
Workshop on human, women, and children rights.
Workshop on human, women, and children rights.
Women
Women's micro-credit group 1.
Women
Women's micro-credit group 2.
Street Business School graduation.
Street Business School graduation.
Human, women, and children rights workshop members
Human, women, and children rights workshop members

Links:

Self-help group meeting
Self-help group meeting

The section below summarizes the work done during the month of August 2019.

CAPACITY BUILDING

On August 5-9, 2019, the national coordinator of Friends Women’s Association (FWA), Pastor NTAHUBA Parfaite, attended a dialogue exchange program organized by the Amercican Friends Service Committee (AFSC) at the Concord&Suits Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya. The purpose was to help goal-peace practitioners, donors and other key stakeholders shift away from traditional short term ‘event based’ models of prevention of electoral violence and invest in analysis, mapping and solutions in root causes of electoral violence.

ACTIVITIES

Rape Survivors’ Support (RSS)

At the end of August 2019, 50 self-help groups for a total of 1180 women were functioning.         

Caring for HIV Positive People (CHIVPP)

During this month of August 2019, medical follow up and home visits were done for our HIV positive people.

Maternity Ward Building

We are now finished with bricking the ground floor of the maternity ward building. The next step is building walls and pillars of the first floor.

The bill of the next steps appears as follows:

  • Pillars and bricking the first floor: $5800 ($3000 for bricking, and 2800 for pillars: $100/pillar)
  • frame: $4,000
  • 120 Iron Sheets: $2760 (23$/sheet)
  • Total: $12,560

Improving Women’s Reproductive Health (IWRH)

FWA community health workers and FWA staff have continued to mobilize people for HIV voluntary test and family planning.

Action on Gender-Based Violence (AGBV)

Under the support of Quaker Service Norway (QSN), a three-day retreat for 20 GBV accompanists was done at MIPAREC in Gitega province.

Under the support of the Canadian Friends Service Committee, one basic workshops on GBV were done for both religious leaders and community elected leaders on August 22-24, 2019.  20 participants attended the workshop. The venue was Commune Nyabiraba in Bujumbura province.

MEDICAL TEAMCONSULTATIONS

123 cases were consulted by our medical doctors, including 75 adults (42women and 33 men), 14 children (6 girls and 8 boys) and 34 HIV positive people.  The nurse received 226 patients including 175 adults and 51 children.

LABORATORY

In the month of August 2019, apart from HIV voluntary testing, there were a total of 127 tests.

Test                          Test completed    Positive  Negative

G.E --.Malaria test                11                4            7

Quick malaria test                53              14           39

ECBU -- Urine test                 6                6             0

Selles -- Stool test                14              13            1

Pregnancy                            13               2           11

Sero-widal -- Typhoïd fever      11               7             4

Glycémie -- Diabetes               5              4              1

RPR VDRL -- Syphillis           14               0            14

Complete Blood Count             0               0             0

                                     Total Tests: 127

Under the support of AGLI of the Friends Peace Teams, we were able to purchase a new microscope as the old one was become useless. 

FAMILY PLANNING

357 people received contraceptives from FWA’s nurse, including 228 old cases and 129 new ones. 297 received the contraceptive injection, 40 were given pills, 1 received IUD, 16 received male condoms, 1 was given collar and 2 received implants.

PRENATAL CONSULTATION (PNC)

In the month of August 2019, 26 women came for prenatal consultation (PNC), including 12 who came for PNC 1, 7 for PNC 2 and 4 for PNC 3 and 1 for PNC 4 

ANTI-RETROVIRAL SITE

At the end of August 2019, we had 321 patients under retro drugs followed at NTASEKA clinic, including 259 women and 62 men.

PHARMACY

Regarding medications, FWA was able to purchase the minimum needed medicine.

PSYCHOSOCIAL TEAM

In the month of August 2019, a total of 44 people received pre and post HIV test counseling and were tested for HIV. Out of the total number, 64% were women and among the six people detected HIV positive, five of them were women, with 18% of seropositivity.This high number is that we have now changed our strategy as required by the government. Actually, we target key populations, including sex workers, to do HIV test.

Total Number of People Tested:  44

Total Number of Women Tested: 28

% of People Tested Who Are Women: 64%

Average Age:  27

Median Age:  26

Total HIV+ :  6

Total HIV- : 38

Number of Women HIV+ : 5

Total % Seropositivity: 14%

% of Women Tested Who Are HIV+: 18%

 

Competion of bricking of ground floor.
Competion of bricking of ground floor.
Mobilization for reproductive health.
Mobilization for reproductive health.
Participants from GBV seminar.
Participants from GBV seminar.
New microscope
New microscope
Self-help group meeting in the new building.
Self-help group meeting in the new building.

This report summarizes the work done during the month of June 2019.

ACTIVITIES

Rape Survivors’ Support (RSS)

A three-day trauma healing workshop was done  on Gender Based Violence Victims.

Testimony

My name is Chantal. In our family, we are three sisters and one brother. When I grew up, I got married. However, after I had my first born, my husband left me and married another wife. I have been struggling a lot in order to survive with my kid. I could not go back to my family because my two sisters and brother refused to receive me with my kid. Then I went to live together with my grandmother. Unfortunately, she died. As I was suffering a lot, my neighbors and friends advised me to a run small business. I had an uncle who loved me so much and he gave me a capital to start with. Now I am selling tomatoes, fruits and other small things. This workshop has helped me to understand the great importance to find someone you trust and tell him/her your sad story.

At the end of June 2019, 47 self-help groups for a total of 1105 women were functioning.

Two self-help groups, Mugisha  and Ntusigarinyuma, shared what they were able to save for one whole year. Ntusigarinyuma started on June 19, 2018. They had now a capital of 2,952,000 francs ($1582).  Mugisha group started on June 28, 2018. The day they shared their savings they had a capital of 5,524,700 francs ($2960). This group is doing very well because they are among the Street Business School recent graduates.     

Caring for HIV Positive People (CHIVPP)

During this month of June 2019, medical follow up and home visits were done for our HIV positive people.

Maternity Ward Building

In the month of June 2019, through the Global Giving Platform, we were able to raise $2,500 to inclose the ground floor. Meanwhile, the site has been very useful: hosting the weekly self-help groups meetings, Street Business School graduation and small groups during the workshops we run at FWA.

Improving Women’s Reproductive Health (IWRH)

FWA community health workers and FWA staff have continued to mobilize people for HIV voluntary test and family planning.

Action on Gender-Based Violence (AGBV)

Under the support of the Canadian Friends Service Committee, two basic workshops on GBV were done for both religious leaders and community elected leaders on June 10-15, 2019. Every three-day workshop was attended by 20 participants. The venue was Commune Nyabiraba in Bujumbura province.

Under the support of Quakers Service Norway, two workshops on human rights, women’s rights and children’s rights were done for 41 GBV accompanists on June 24-29, 2019 at FWA. Paricipants were coming from three provinces: Gitega (Giheta), Mwaro (Ndava), and Muramvya (Rutegama). FWA had hired an expert in the field “Maitre Alphonsine Bigirimana” to facilitate the two workshops.

MEDICAL TEAM CONSULTATIONS

169 cases were consulted by our medical doctors, including 39 children, 79 adults and 51 HIV positive people (24 under ARVs treatment came for medical consultation for various pathologies, one case was found HIV positive and was put under ARVs treatment, one case for retesting and 25 cases for biological follow up/viral load). The nurse received 284 patients including 194 adults and 90 children.

June 25-28, 2019 was a mother-child week. Ntaseka clinic was one of the vaccination centers as usual. We had a total of 3174 children (1703 girls and 1471 boys) and 171 pregnant women. Among the 3174, 114 children aged between 6 and 11 motnhs were given Vitamin A, 1750 aged between 12 months and 59 months were given both Vitamin A and Albendazole, and 1310 aged between 5 years and 14 years were given Albendazole.

LABORATORY

In the month of June 2019, apart from HIV voluntary testing, there were a total of 219 tests.

Test                                   Test completed  Positive  Negative

G.E. - Malaria test                         0                0            0

Quick malaria test                      113              50          63

ECBU - Urine test                        11              11            0

Selles - Stool test                        17              17           0

Pregnancy                                  23                7          16

Sero-widal - Typhoïd fever             25              18            7

Glycémie - Diabetes                    18              11            7

RPR VDRL - Syphillis                  12                2          10

Complete Blood Count                   0                0            0

                                     Total Tests: 219

FAMILY PLANNING

377 people received contraceptives from FWA’s nurse, including 247 old cases and 130 new ones. 313 received the contraceptive injection, 36 were given pills, 7 received implants, one received UID and 20 were given male condoms.

PRENATAL CONSULTATION (PNC)

In the month of June 2019, 32 women came for prenatal consultation (PNC), including 11 who came for PNC 1, 16 for PNC 2 and 4 for PNC 3 and 1 for PNC 4 

ANTI-RETROVIRAL SITE

At the end of June 2019, we had 312 patients under retro drugs followed at NTASEKA clinic, including 251 women and 61 men.

PHARMACY

Regarding medications, FWA had all necessary medicines for the month of June 2019.

PSYCHOSOCIAL TEAM

In the month of June 2019, a total of 23 people received pre and post HIV test counseling and were tested for HIV.

Total Number of People Tested: 23

Total Number of Women Tested: 18

% of People Tested Who Are Women: 78%

Average Age:  26

Median Age: 26

Total HIV+ : 2

Total HIV- : 21

Number of Women HIV+ : 1

Total % Seropositivity: 9%

% of Women Tested Who Are HIV+: 6%

 

Street Business School graduation day.
Street Business School graduation day.
Samll group meeting in unfinished maternity ward.
Samll group meeting in unfinished maternity ward.
Participants from GBV seminar.
Participants from GBV seminar.
Seminar of human, women, and children rights.
Seminar of human, women, and children rights.
Attendees at mother-child week.
Attendees at mother-child week.
Attendees waiting for shoots at mother-child week.
Attendees waiting for shoots at mother-child week.
The next step is bricking up the walls.
The next step is bricking up the walls.

Incredible Facts about the Ntaseka Clinic

  1. This small clinic has 301 HIV+ patients receiving anti-viral (ARV) treatment. This is an incredible 0.38% of the 78,000 estimated HIV+ people in Burundi.
  2. In the very Catholic country of Burundi where most hospitals and clinics are run by the Catholic Church which will not supply patients with modern methods of contraception, the clinic has 362 women per month coming in for family planning. Since most select injectibles which last for three months, this implies that over 1000 women are being served with family planning.
  3. The clinic has 45 self-help women’s groups with 1055 members giving moral and financial support for women from the Kamenge slum. These include abused, battered women, sex workers, and 20 HIV+ women.

Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world. The war between 1993 and 2005 retarded the development of the country. Then since the disputed election in 2015, Burundi has again been beset with civil unrest. The following table compares the situation in Burundi with that of the United States

                                                     Burundi                            United States

Fertility rate                     5.93 children per woman           1.87 children per woman

Maternal mortality rate     712 per 100,000 women             14 per 100,000 women

Infant mortality rate          57.4 per 1000 births                   5.7 per 1000 births

Doctors                          5 per 100,000 people                  259 per 100,000 people

Hospital beds                 80 per 100,000 people                 290 per 100,000 people

I remember in 2002 when Cassilde Ntamamiro, a nurse, first proposed the Ntaseka Clinic for HIV+ women. Her sister and brother-in-law plus their two children had all died of AIDS so she felt a moral obligation to work on this issue.

I remember that at that time HIV/AIDS was a taboo subject in Burundi. This was due to the fact that to discuss the disease one needed to discuss about sex. Anyone who had the disease was considered a sinner since she/he or the spouse had to have been unfaithful.

I remember that Cassilde wanted this to be a women’s run organization because the men in Burundi Yearly Meeting would not support such an activity. Therefore she organized and registered the Friends Women’s Association which has been responsible for the clinic ever since.

I remember that due to the stigma about HIV/AIDS the clinic had to be a multi-service clinic serving a total clientele with their health needs.

I remember in 2005 when Felicite Niyonzima was the first Quaker in Burundi who would publicly admit that she was HIV+. As she spoke at Quaker churches and with male pastors, she was instrumental in tackling the silence and shame of being HIV+. A few years ago when I was in Burundi, I happened to meet Felicite again and she and her daughter, who ended up not being HIV+, were doing well.

I remember when we started the clinic in a totally inadequate rented storefront. I then helped arrange for Cassilde to come twice to the United States on fundraising tours. Sufficient funds were raised to buy the plot where the clinic now stands plus a second plot behind it which is being used for the Maternity Ward.

I remember helping to organize work camps to build the clinic, its walls, and later required additions for a consulting room for people who were tested for HIV/AIDS and a special room for maternity and children. The many work campers and long-term foreign volunteers contributed so much, both physical and financial, to the building of the clinic. I cannot thank them enough for their contributions

I remember that contrary to this positive report, since 2002 there were many difficulties, obstacles, financial problems, and so on. Step by step the clinic has grown to what it is now.

I remember in 2007 when Cassilde moved to the United States to be with husband who received political asylum after the conflicts in Burundi. Dr. Alexia Nibona, still one of the doctors at the clinic, took over the clinic at that time. It was in 2014 that Parfaite Ntahuba filled the new position as Coordinator for Ntaseka Clinic.

I also note that Marceline Girukwishaka has been the loyal bookkeeper since the beginning in 2002 and that Joselyn Dusabe has been clerk of the very active FWA Board for many years.

 My involvement with the Friends Women’s Association/Ntaseka Clinic has been one of the most gratifying activities in my life.

__________________________________________________

 Please consider contributing to the building of the Maternity Ward.

To donate click ongoto.gg/32980.

 __________________________________________________

The next step in the development of the Ntaseka Clinic is the construction of its Maternity Ward. As you can see from the chart above the maternal mortality rate is 712 per 100,000 births – 8th highest in the world. The infant mortality rate of 57.4 babies per 1000 births is the 18th highest in the world. Since the clinic is in a poor section of Burundi the rates there must be even higher. These high rates are due to the fact that most women give birth at home with little or no professional help. Therefore the Maternity Ward where professional medical care will be provided will save the lives of many babies and mothers.

Moreover, since most of the 244 women under ARV treatment at the clinic are young, many will give birth. Giving birth at home will increase the likelihood of transmission of the virus from mother to child. There is nothing sadder than the fact that some innocent children, through no fault of their own, have become HIV+. Growing up in poverty is hard enough in itself, but then having the burden of being HIV+ significantly increases that burden. The clinic runs a monthly support group for the HIV+ children to encourage them, convey the facts of the disease to them, and stress the importance of taking their drugs regularly.

The progress on the construction of the Maternity Ward can be seen in the picture at the top of this report. Much of the funding for the construction to date has come through a major grant from Vancouver Island Monthly Friends Meeting in Canada. We thank them so much for their support. The next goal is to brick in the building. The cost of the bricks, cement, and labor is $3,000. To date the Ntaseka Clinic has raised only $200 towards this goal.

Please help out. Your contribution will help towards saving the lives of women and children in a poverty area of one of the poorest countries in the world. To donate click on goto.gg/32980. Please also forward this Report to anyone whom you think might want to support the building of the Maternity Ward.

Thanks so much for your consideration of this request.

David Zarembka

Mobilization for family planning and HIV testing.
Mobilization for family planning and HIV testing.
The dream for the building when it is finished
The dream for the building when it is finished
Meningitis inoculation campaign for 4669 people.
Meningitis inoculation campaign for 4669 people.
 

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Organization Information

Friends Women's Association

Location: Bujumbura - Burundi
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @None
Project Leader:
NTAHUBA PARFAITE
Bujumbura, Burundi
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through the Year End Campaign 2019. Terms and conditions apply.

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