Visitors here, Church at Jinga,ZACH support, Pepfar/CDC evaluation and ART support group
Things have been very busy with lots of patients this week. We started out the week by going to visit a nearby church--Jinga. We took our visitor college girls, Memory, Yolanda and Ashe from Harare with us. They have been doing some data entry for us on tablets for our children on ART.
Major and his family went too, so his two girls and the visitors sang a special song for us at church. Major preached and after church they fed us mashed pumpkin and peanut butter--really good!
Monday was a very busy day of patients and it took us until late to see them all. Major and I finally got home at 7:45 pm, exhausted. Ate dinner and off to sleep!
Three of our ZACH (Mission Hospital organization) joined us Tuesday night to eat with me and spend the night. Wednesday was our inspection by CDC/Pepfar and they came to assist. Two people from CDC Harare showed up on Wednesday morning for the evaluation. It took most of the day and we finished at 4 pm with our evaluation. We got a 87% which was excellent! We were noted to be far ahead in all areas of HIV/AIDS care. This month we reached 5060 patients on the ART drugs! We are close to 85% viral suppression and working hard on achieving 90%.
ZACH gave us some supplies for our program and some T-shirts that we gave out to our people who help with our ART program who include nurses, drives, pharmacy nurse aides and counsellors.
Friday we bid goodbye to Memory, Yolanda and Ashe as they finished their 3 weeks with us. They are college girls on holiday from school and helped us out in our adolescent research study by doing data entry on tablets for us.
Today (Saturday morning) we had our ART support group for kids 15-20 years old. We had 44 kids who came. The kids are enjoying this group and we do Viral Loads on everyone, refill their medicines, give lessons on not defaulting and play games and sing. We provided tea and bread and some cookies.
Most of these kids have been on drugs since they were babies and it is so good to see them growing up and doing well. We always enjoy this group and seeing them act like normal teenagers.
One of the girls is named Fortunate and she was started at 10 months of age in 2003 when she weighed less than 4 kg (8 1/2 pounds)! Her twin had died a couple of months before and she was very sick when she arrived at the hospital. In those days we had no Pediatric drugs so we cut up adult drugs and crushed them, "hoping" they might work. She is now 15 and doing Form 3 in school. She has grown into a lovely young woman and we are so happy. She is our longest Pediatric patient on drugs and her drugs are still working well ! How great it is to see her each time.
In those days donors paid for the Pediatric drugs we used and continued from 2003 until 2007 when the government took over providing drugs for free. We are so thankful for those who helped to give lives to these kids in their early life!
Thanks to all who help us financially in running the hospital.
Carolyn, Nancy, Ashe, Yolanda and Memory singing for church
Eating Peanut Butter Pumpkin
Giving T-shirts from ZACH out to staff
Kathy saying goodbye to girls on Friday
ART kids Support Group
Kids holding up their drugs that keep them alive!