The Matero Care Center (MCC) implements Power of Love programs in Zambia. It is located in the community of Matero in Lusaka, Zambia. Its vision is to provide quality, affordable, effective health care and support to children living with HIV.
The MCC is a community based non-profit organization that was founded in 2005 and formally registered in March 2006. It was established to prevent HIV, care for HIV+ children, and to educate and support vulnerable women. It's mission is to provide health care services to orphans and vulnerable children living with HIV and to mitigate the impact of HIV in the community. We believe that our approach has a multiplier effect on care giving and prevention of HIV. All program activities focus on strengthening women, providing counselling and education to HIV+ adults and children, and providing community-based care for HIV+ children. At this time, we implement the following programs: Pediatric HIV Care Program or Arms Reach Care, Micro Finance Program, and Safe Park program. Our team includes the Project Nurse, a program administrator, micro finance officers, a social worker, and a team of community health workers.
Arms Reach Care program provides a comprehensive package of health care services to children and guardians/parents in their homes. The Micro Finance program aims at strengthening vulnerable women by the provision of business training and small loans. The "Safe Park" program provides a safe place for children to learn and play.
Program Activities for Arms reach Care:
Training Provided to Family Care Givers: Family Caregivers (FCGs) are members of the patients’ household trained in basic home nursing. They are taught simple, yet effective responses to common opportunistic infections such as chronic diarrhoea, fever, and cough, and maintenance of good hygiene. Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) is strongly encouraged for both child and the caregiver. Child and Youth Care Workers (CYCWs) are members of the community trained in medical care giving specific to HIV/AIDS, particularly in the identification and treatment of Opportunistic Infections, as well as supporting Anti Retrial-viral Therapy (ART) adherence and psychosocial support.
Home Visits to Monitor the Child’s Health: This involves the provision of care in the homes of enrolled children in the program to ensure that children and the families are complying with medical treatment. It helps to detect, treat early infections and monitor children’s conditions to reduce hospital visits. There have been achievements since inception as the organization has been providing home visits to all the children on the programme. Currently the organization is working with 500 children directly. Continuous health education is being provided to the family care givers and children on prevention of water borne diseases such as cholera, prevention of malaria, wearing protective clothing such as gloves when attending to diarrheal infections, wounds and because of this no child or Caregiver had suffered from any serious water borne infection. Refresher trainings for both the CYCWs and the caregivers are given for them to have the latest information that Scientists continue to discover when it comes to HIV issues.
Counselling Services Provided to Families Enrolled: In this activity caregivers and elderly children are provided with information concerning their status and health issues so that they can make an informed decision regarding their health. The organization has intensified counselling to FCGs regarding reproductive health. In 2009, the programme embarked on a new activity of counselling caregivers on the need to undergo cervical and breast cancer screening. Almost all family caregivers have been examined for cervical cancer and only 1 FCG was found to have cancer and has been treated at the local clinic.
Food Provided to Children: This focuses on the treatment of infections and nutritional disorders such as malnutrition and aims at maximizing the impact of medicinal care with food supplements. Good food is needed for any person to grow well, work hard, and stay healthy and it is for this reason that this activity has been identified especially to children who are living with the Human immune deficiency virus (HIV).
Provision of School Requirements: The organisation has in the last 6 years been providing school requirements for the children on the programme like school fees, uniforms, schools, books, school bags among others. Most of these children’s needs are discovered during the home visits.
The Nurse is responsible for the day to day running of this program and provdies direct supervision to the Child, Youth and Care Workers (CYCWs). In addition, the Nurse provides medication, education, testing and counseling servcies to sick children in accordance with the Zambian law.
Program Activities for the Micro Finance Program
Micro Finance program provides loans and buisness trainings to vulnerable women so they can run successful businesses. Earnings from these businesses help the women take better care of their families and keep their children in school. The goal of this program is to strengthen the community response to HIV and AIDSthe by supporting caregivers of sick patients and orphans to develop income-generating activities. The organisation has worked with other 1,500 women since the start of the program.
Program Activities for "Safe Park" Program
The "Safe Park" program provides a safe and supervised place for children to play and participate in a range of sporting, recreational and educational activities. This program engages children in purposeful activities such as drawing, games, conversation, workshops etc. that enable children to express their feelings. Psycho-social support is provided and educational workshops are organized in an environment that facilitates discussions. The result is an improvement in the children’s physical, social, emotional and intellectual development and overall health. With these activities we are able to identify psycho-social needs of children through behaviours’ observation assessment and intervention, (i.e. identifying anger, stress and trauma). For example, children who used feel isolated now feel a sense of belonging in their community.