The HIV epidemic may be stabilizing but millions are still living with the virus in Sub-Sahara Africa and this further affects the number of children and their likelihood to be infected by HIV due to their parent exposure to HIV and AIDS. The lack of access to antiretroviral treatment by children in developing countries is of particular concern. The nutritional status of the child and the diligence with which viral replication is controlled are paramount in determining the outcome of most children with HIV.
Children affected by HIV often live in households undergoing dramatic changes, including intensified poverty; increased responsibilities placed on young members of the family; poor parental health that may increase emotional or physical neglect; stigma and discrimination from friends, community members, or extended family; or parental death.
Prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) has become a priority for the Government of Kenya in an endeavor to reduce HIV-related infant and child mortality. HIV testing and Counseling (HTC) of pregnant women serves as an important entry point to care and treatment for HIV positive mothers and their families.
Chukua Hatua was used as a rallying call for HIV positive mothers to ensure they take personal responsibility to stay alive and their children free from HIV infections.
During the project period by WOFAK, with the help of Community Health Workers (CHWs), HIV positive pregnant mothers were linked to PMTCT clinics in order to prevent transmission of HIV to their babies. This project advocated for Early Infant Diagnosis (EID) on newly born babies. The mothers and infants received nutritional support and adherence counseling to ensure their wellbeing. In order to assist with the psychosocial support of children living with HIV between the age of 0-14 years, support groups were formed.
The outcomes of this project included:
- Quality and uptake of PMTCT services among HIV positive pregnant/lactating mothers increased by at least 20%
- Expanded Pediatric HIV care and treatment services reducing HIV related mortality among children 0-14 years
- Expanded community care and support services targeting HIV positive pregnant mothers, lactating mothers and children 0-14 years enabled them live wholesome lives.
This project was funded by Positive Action for Children Fund