Saturday, January 7, 2012
Pictured: Mdabulo Care and Treatment Clinic (CTC) Home to comprehensive HIV/AIDS treatment for this rural area in Mufindi District, and now the headquarters of the home based care program.
Construction of house number 2 (the fifth house at the Children’s Village) had a slight delay this month as we were on a desperate search for sand. The right sand is needed to continue in our plastering efforts, and after it was found we were able to continue with the cement walls of the interior of the home. We’re excited that this project is only a month or two away from completion, and we should have children staying in the house very shortly. This is the second to last house that will be constructed, as plans have always been to build six homes around our valley. Plans have already begun for getting the village involved in alleviating the pressure of caring for orphaned and vulnerable children. We anticipate the completion of the homes to coincide with a healthier more educated community in the surrounding villages that will be more capable of caring for its own children in the village. This month we had a visit from Loe Koppejan who is from a Dutch foundation. We are hoping that our proposal for funds for a construction of the last house will be accepted by his foundation. If we are successful, all housing construction will be complete.
Home Based Care
The number of patients visited by our home based care volunteers has risen dramatically in one month. The first month’s total was 112, and this month they are now seeing 215 patients in the village. This month volunteers will be instructed to help the Care and Treatment Clinic (CTC) at Mdabulo. The goal will be for the volunteers to follow up on patients that have missed appointments at the CTC, and to encourage these patients to continue treatment. The volunteers will try to find these patients, discover why they have stopped following up on their treatment, and then educate them on the dangers of discontinuing treatment. Finally, the volunteers will highlight the benefits of coming back to treatment, and continuing a lifelong treatment plan.
A generous donation came this month from some visitors at the lodge. The Kraniak family, Rick Laurie, and Ty, donated and delivered 10 bicycles to the home based care program. This enables all volunteers to do their jobs more efficiently. The home based care program will greatly benefit from this donation as volunteers will be able to visit more patients, and will be able to hold more meetings.
Milk Formula Program
35 families are enrolled in our milk formula program. HIV positive mothers help prevent transmission of HIV to their children by using milk formula after the child reaches the age of 6 months. The NGO has supported these mothers by funding the costs of this milk formula. This month the program changed whereby the mothers are set to arrive on the same day each month. Prior to this month the Mothers were arriving on separate individual days creating a lot of work for NGO staff. This new system mimics the CTC day program at Mdabulo, so the mothers are already familiar with the system, and the program now runs far more efficiently.
This month we had the pleasure of the presence of short-term volunteer Holly Harding from the UK. Among other projects, Holly helped at the Mdabulo CTC. She worked on getting the facility running in a more efficient, more user-friendly manner. She helped organize the files of over 1000 patients that are registered at the facility. This created a better flow to the facility on “CTC days” where patients come for treatment of HIV.
The facility has been running really well since its opening in October. The CD4 machine has been the vital instrument of the facility and has enabled the CTC to offer comprehensive treatment of the disease. The 1000 reagents purchased in March are still going strong with just about half of them remaining. The NGO is actively writing grants and proposals for more reagents to keep this treatment going.
Volunteer Holly Harding also helped this month in organizing and setting up the Luhunga Library for use. The library is now ready to be a learning resource for the school. This past month, Leudi has been bringing in all
the students in the school to teach them the rules of the library and
how to find the books they need. The program is starting very slowly, as the concept of a library is quite new for most of the students. For
now, the students are allowed to come and visit the library
during their off-periods, and are able to use any of the resources in the library during their visit. Slowly but surely more services will be provided through the library, but in the beginning stages students are being taught simply how to use a library. The library is also being used as a quiet place for students to study their subjects.
Igoda Community Hall
Titus Nyunza and Treda Pius organized an event on their own this month at the Igoda Community Hall that focused on proper nutrition for children. More than 90 people from 10 villages came to learn how to improve their family's lives through improved nutrition. Community leader Kibuga Fute volunteered his time and gave a speech on the topic, and he helped to educate his fellow villagers. It was a great event, and we are proud of the job Treda, and Titus have done!