Thanks to your generous support, we have been able to continually expand our program to improve the lives of several hundred children and families impacted by HIV, AIDS, and malaria in Zambia. From weekly checkups to vital healthcare services, the children 200+ within our program receive the support they need to achieve stable health and attend school.
Today we would like you to meet two children who have been in our pediatric HIV program for 7-8 years. Mary and Jack (names changed) have showed exemplary growth since their enrollment in our pediatric HIV care program. Both children understand the importance of staying in school and enjoy their education, are adherent to their medication, regularly visit the clinic on their own, and are growing up to be responsible adults. As they approach graduation from our program, we hope they can be role models for the younger children receiving our care.
Mary, born in 1995, lives with her grandmother, mother, and five others in a small household. Before being enrolled in our pediatric HIV care program, Mary was afflicted by chronic headaches, coughs, ear problems, and an inability to gain weight. Due to her poor health, her grandmother brought her in for VCT (voluntary counseling and testing) in 2005. Mary tested positive for HIV and began antiretroviral treatment in 2006.
After a few months of medication, Mary’s health began to improve and she started to gain weight. Her grandmother attributes her turnaround in health to the food, medicine, and continuous health care services provided by our pediatric HIV care program. Mary is aware of her HIV positive status and maintains a positive outlook on life. She goes to the clinic on her own and adheres to her ARV regimen. She is currently in grade 11 and is performing well in school - she’s confident of finishing high school in 2015 and becoming a contributing member of her community.