Ledig faces concerns of malnourished children
Priscilla Rakhetsi of the SACBC AIDS Office reports on her visit to Ledig one of Tapologo’s satellite sites in the North West Province, Diocese of Rustenburg.
Ledig (sub siteof Tapologo) has five carers and 192 children registered in the OVC programme. There are 16 HIV positive children. The children come to the centre for the after school care activities from Mondays to Fridays were they participate in different activities such as career guidance, support groups, hygiene talks, homework assistance, counselling, indigenous games, memory box, health assessment. There are different sessions on road safety, spiritual support and storytelling that are HIV/AIDS educational. The carers provide services to the children during the after school care programme and for those children that stay far from the site, carers provide services during home visits. The Ledig site has a good relationship with the ARV site operating in the same premises that supports children with health assessments and ARV treatment referrals. The biggest challenge experienced at Tapologo’s Ledig sub site is HIV/AIDS stigma. Most of the children who are HIV positive are not aware of their HIV status and also of what treatment they are taking. This challenge is more common to those children that are staying with their grandmothers because the grannies are not able to support the children to adhere to treatment. One of the solutions that the project did to improve adherence was to buy alarm clocks and pill boxes for every child who is on ARV treatment. During home visit the carers monitors the pill boxes as a way of adherence support. Since the beginning of June 2014, the site has lost two children aged 14 due to ARV defaulting. The site has a support group for both HIV positive and negative children and the support group is facilitated by Neo birth.
There is high number of malnourished children in the area. The other challenge experienced is that the Ledig sub site operate in various areas that are scattered and the carers are few. This matter was taken to Tapologo management and they will appoint new carers. The HIV/AIDS awareness will be conducted during September school holidays. In October the site is starting VCT . I encouraged the site to have parents’ meetings where they address challenges experienced and also to come up with solutions to their problems.