Location: Lusaka, Zambia
Patricia was declared HIV negative against her expectations, one week after she lost her sister to the disease. She has her own new slogan, which is: ""NO condom, NO Sex!""
Zambia is one of the poorest and most underdeveloped countries in the world and deals with one of the most devastating HIV/AIDS epidemics. In the Ng’ombe Health Centre, where pregnant women are tested for HIV, Orange Babies launched an intervention programme to protect healthy babies from being infected with HIV by their own HIV-infected mothers. Once tested HIV positive, they enter the Orange Babies Child Protect programme and are monitored during the pregnancy, the delivery and 18 months after the baby is born. With ARV therapy (HIV medication) during the pregnancy and breastfeeding period, the virus in the blood is suppressed to such a level that they cannot infect their children. The babies are also given an HIV-inhibiting syrup. Thanks to this unique approach the babies have a 98% chance of being HIV free.
By offering Child Protect services, Sekelela aims to lower the percentage of HIV transmissions from mother to child in the Ngómbe community to less than 2% within the next 5 years. This will be accomplished through the following activities. Offering the Child Protect programme (from pregnancy until 18 months after the delivery); Promoting prenatal visits to the clinic and a hospital delivery. Educating the entire community through monthly trial campaigns about getting tested; An outreach programme where the team goes to people’s homes to educate them about HIV and to convince them to get tested; Preventing unplanned pregnancies with HIV-infected mothers.
New management and restructuring of the project. 3 testing festivals organised, 570 persons tested. At the moment Sekelela has 130 clients in the programme (goal is to grow to 250). Twice a month support group meetings are held. In these meetings the following topics are discussed: breastfeeding, adherence (continuing to take HIV inhibitors on a daily basis) and family planning. During these meetings they also monitor the health of all babies.
Information about Partner:
Destil supports the Sekelela project through a sponsored heroic cycling tour.