POL Posts: Blogs, Reports & Updates
February 27, 2015

Adding 50 New Children to Pediatric HIV Program

As a result of your generosity and support, we will be adding 50 HIV positive children to our pediatric HIV care program this month. The children have been identified and will be receiving food, medicine, and a package of life saving health care services until they turn eighteen. The package of healthcare services includes weekly health visits from our healthcare workers, regular visits from the Project Nurse, psychosocial counseling, education in HIV prevention, and adherence monitoring and training for older children. In addition, their caregivers (most of whom are single moms and grandmothers caring for multiple orphans) will undergo a five day training in caring for an HIV positive child.

Impact of this program

After the child has been in our program for a few months, the child improves in health (as measured by a gain in weight/CD4 counts) and has fewer missed days from school. In addition to improving the child’s health, the child’s family learns how to take better care of the child and other sick members in the family and understands the importance of keeping children in school. In addition, family members begin to come forward for testing for HIV, which is the first step in prevention of the disease. Finally, women on our program share their knowledge about caring for an HIV+ child with others and become role models in the community

Training the Caregivers  

The goal of this training is to equip parents/guardians with basic nursing and psychosocial counseling skills so that the child is under the care of a trained caregiver 24/7. Post training, parents/guardians are able to take care of different kinds of opportunistic infections that are common among HIV positive children at home and are able to identify situations when the child needs a higher level of care. As a result, most children to improve/stabilize in health and have fewer opportunistic infections after they have been in our program for 4-5 months.

Profile of the New Children

Out of this group of 50 children, 33 children are girls and the rest are boys. The children range in age from two to sixteen. Since most of the children are of school-going age, we will ensure that the children attend school and educate caregivers on the importance of keeping children in school. Our goal is for these children to stay healthy and to graduate middle and high school.

With the addition of these 50 children, we will have a total of 250 HIV+ children on our program. Every one of these 250 children will receive food, medicines and a package of life saving health care services. Given the success of this program in the past, we expect most children to stabilize/improve in health, attend school and learn.  

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