HIV Care and Nutrition Program (UKUN)

by East Africa Aid Foundation
Dec 25, 2013

UKUN Volunteer Diary (Week 15)

This week was busy with home visits together with our new volunteer Sarelle.

On Tuesday Charles and Sarelle did visits to Semeni, Mariam and Amina to introduce them to Sarelle. Semeni who has been a client for many years was doing really well with her family. We used to visit her for physiotherapy when she got really weak. Now she is still doing fine and is able to walk independently. She also has a good support from her family. There were no changes with Mariam and we provided her mango juice and more gloves. Amina continued her walk with the zimmer frame and it appears that soon she will be strong enough to change the frame to a walking stick.

Mr Captain had two showers Wednesday and Friday. The same problems occurred again; no-one had been there to help him to the toilet so he was covered in faeces again. Friday I took him to his hospital appointment after giving him a full change and shower first. Doctors assessed his strength on his limbs and suggested to build a pole in his garden to do some physiothrerapy. They think he could be able to walk again and build more muscle to his legs if we did regular physiotherapy. We decided to make this plan for next week. We will be also building a new kitchen outside for his family to shift it away from outside of his room. His family was happy with this idea and Chanzi made a design for the new kitchen. With all the volunteers arriving next week also we made the plan to build it Thursday and Friday next week. His CD4 had dropped from 506 (last year May) to 384 so this was alarming and we need to build him up fast.  Doctors also mentioned that he is lacking many vitamins and that is why his hands are week. The family do not cook many vegetables and he does not like the fruit I bring him. I took some multivitamins for him and he was also started on neuropathic medicine for a month to get more strength on his limbs. I hope these medicines together with better nutrition will help to increase his CD4 count. His new appointment was made to the end of the month to reassess. I hope something more can be done for his nutritional support but it is a complicated situation with the big stigma that exists in the family. His uncle sho lives next door is the traditional healer and has a lot of money and wives I have been told. I wish they would help Mr Captain more. It makes me so sad.

I, Sarelle and Chanzi took Abdullah to the beach on Wednesday but he was too afraid to swim. We found a volunteer who is a swimming teacher and she agreed to teach him next week! Abdullah was happy to hear that. Next week will be his last few injections and he will finish all his TB treatment. We need to look into getting him back to education. He is eating really well and acts like the boss at our office now. He has been sleeping in the office for a while now and his family has not been asking after him, which is really sad. He is continuing with his English lessons and likes to greet us now in English and telling us in English all the things he has eaten!

Chanzi visited Sulemani in Ocean Road Hospital in dar Es Salaam and took him water, juice and bread. He was doing fine and was still waiting to start his radiotherapy treatment.

Charles wanted to involve one of Captain’s family members to help to shower him while I will be gone (July & August) but the person had gone away. Once Charles come back from his holidays beginning of August I hope he will find the person to assist Mr Captain. For now it will be our American volunteers together with our local volunteers.

Next week there are two new volunteers joining our team; Cindy for two weeks who is a registered nurse in USA and William for six weeks who is a medical student and from USA too. It will be nice to have a big team. Our local volunteers Davis and Godfrey continued to practice on HIV testing and counselling. They are also willing to help with home visits and will be translating when the American volunteers arrive.

Charles will go to visit his mum and on holiday next week Tuesday for two weeks and it will be my last week with UKUN also. We will have a lot of orientation and organizing to do for the new volunteers!    


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East Africa Aid Foundation
Project Leader:
Tarek El-Shayal
New York, NY United States

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