The HIV project started in 2005. About 400 children were tested in 2006 of which 20 HIV positive children enrolled in the national treatment program. Epidemiological data shows that there is a vertical transmission up to 40% of Mothers with HIV and that a child born with HIV, if untreated, dies.
In Tanzania HAART therapy is available but there are access problems and therefore limited use. The foundation has established HIV seminars, testing, treatment and counseling as follows.
• € 15 per HIV test, € 100 per year for HIV treatment with HAART therapy
• One HIV seminar per year
Expansion and improvement of the HIV-treatment of children is our number one priority. In addition, we provide counseling for the patient and the family . We are currently searching for ways in which the sisters of the medical post can tend to and treat patients in and around the community as they are indeed the ones who know best.
HIV / AIDS education remains essential
Several times a year, information sessions are organized. The meetings are led by medical staff at the KCMC in Moshi. The meetings are announced and advertised by posters and brochures. Visitors get a booklet with information about HIV testing, prevention and treatment. The information is given to children, but also to men and women of all ages. The counselling sessions aim to reduce HIV infections through safe sex and the use of pregnancy clinics by pregnant women. In 2009, we collaborated with lovecheck.org to expand the information we were providing to our attendees. We developed videos and games to use during the counselling sessions.
It is important to test for HIV because it can be transmitted during pregnancy, childbirth and breastfeeding. There is also the risk of sexual transmission among children because all sexual contacts occur at a young age. By testing, children who need to be treated can start their course fo therapy as well as counselling sessions. Currently residents of Mdawi themselves are tested for HIV in the KCMC. The KCMC staff explains what the consequences are of both a negative and a positive HIV test and will provide the adequate course of counselling on the basis of the result obtained. The District AIDS Control Coordinator and the staff of the hospital in Ann Kiluu Mdawi have agreed to put and HIV testing agency in Mdawi.
A dispensary was built in 2002 – 2003 by our partner Norwegian foundation. The lab itself was donated in 2005 by HAMLO in the Netherlands. The foundation supports one medical assistant that works in the dispensary as well as 3 nurses. The dispensary serves as a network of support and counselling for children with HIV as well as a site for VCT testing.