Christ the King Home Based Care Unit Narrative Report (April – September 2015)
We humble ourselves and thank God for the wonderful things that we shared together, supported by SACBC AIDS Office.
The SACBC AIDS Office has proven itself beyond reasonable doubt that it is capable of changing people’s lives. The thinner are left bigger, the poor now sleep like the rich, those who still sleep on the dirt floor and feel down, are spiritually lifted up and live in hope of one day being helped through your generosity.
The biggest achievement was to see people’s lives changing for the better and helping them living in a healthier environment than before. The beneficiaries significantly improved academically through the educational sessions. To see the support group flourishing in different communities without fear and sharing ideas with others and even giving courage to those who still live in fear to stand up for themselves.
420 clients benefited from this program. 120 from the home based care unit and 300 from the support group. Nutrition supplements were distributed successfully to all beneficiaries. Height and weight were measured for BMI every month. Due to this we saw the beneficiaries gaining weight gradually.
TB screening was successful and monitored. As 60% of people with TB also has HIV we saw this program reducing the spread of TB. The support group played a pivotal role as some clients were referred for ART treatment. Clients were counselled and trained in TB symptoms. TB suspects were referred for sputum tests and X-Ray. Also those put on TB treatment were supported and monitored through home visits by caregivers. Some clients have successfully completed their TB treatment course.Food plates are available to support group members and nutritional supplements are given out to those in dire need of food, so that they can take their medication. A tower garden was successfully done that conserves water and given fresh vegetables on daily basis.
PMTCT is not very effective in the Shiselweni region, children are still getting infected by their mothers. The caregivers went an extra mile to target pregnant women and those with new born children to teach about HIV and how to protect the children from infection, e.g. exclusive breast feeding. The efforts and interventions of the Swazi government are not reaching the rural areas as intended that is where the caregivers come in with health talks and HIV education
Clients are counselled and tested. Those found to be HIV+ are referred for CD4 tests and treatment at the clinics. They are then included in the support groups. The Mpatheni support group is the most vibrant and progressive one of them all.
Teachers from local schools offered extra classes for our beneficiaries who were lagging behind at school. Extra assistance with homework was given by the caregivers at the children’s homes.
Clients in this program gained knowledge through educational support and HIV counselling. Their cognitive level was uplifted and skills greatly improved and there was a change in behaviour. They now live in a healthy environment that gives them confidence to face challenges from time to time.
Clients received training in social justice, human rights, human trafficking and abuse. This program greatly changed their lives as they also gained trust and confidence as the caregivers practiced their pastoral roles. Abuse is rife in the Shiselweni region and we saw caregivers having sleepless nights as abused women would run to seek their assistance.
Clients participated in community projects through this program, they are now useful citizens in the communities. Through the trained caregivers we saw Celumusa Mathobela reporting an abuse case to the caregivers. He is eleven (11) years old and was stabbed on the shoulder at Velebantfu High School which raised the alarm and we saw clients for this program holding prayers in the soup kitchen for their colleagues who are abused and bullied.
Before implementing this program the clients were faced with late coming and non-attendance at school and low participation of learners in class. HIV and AIDS Clients are weak naturally and TB infected clients are reluctant to any assistance. Therefore it was through this program after raising the alarm that they stood up without fear. The months that we go on without funding are detrimental to our clients as food plates and parcels were given to them thus creating a conducive and healthy environment. For those clients who were victimized in the society and at school it was through our trained caregivers that they were given psychosocial support. The educational support budget that you gave us for trained teachers went a long way in enriching the clients with knowledge, skills and attitude. Books to assist the clients were bought but cannot be utilized by our caregivers as some are not learned, we therefore humble request you to consider your ban on trained teachers. As a fact knowledge is power.
This program has not only left our clients smiling but even the entire community. The knowledge acquired, skills obtained and the change in behaviour simply signals that it was fruitful. It was through the SACBC that we received training as caregivers last year in TB and AIDS and we must not lose this program because it is through SACBC that we have touched people’s lives directly. There is no more discrimination of our clients in the community. The confidence is gained by the clients is not stoppable thus these is still a need to support them through this program.