HIV and AIDS Education
According to the World Health Organisation
- 36.9 million living with HIV in 2014
- 1.5 million died of AIDS-related illnesses in 2013
- 2.1 million adolescents were living with HIV in 2012
- 9.7 million in low – and middle – income countries were receiving antiretroviral therapy at the end of 2012
- 2.3 million new HIV infections were registered in 2013
- 6.6 million peoplecurrently receiving ARV therapy
- 78 million people have been infected with the HIV virus
- 39 million have died people have died from HIV and AIDS related issues since the beginning of the epidemic
- Sub-Saharan Africa is the most affected region, with 25.8 million people living with HIV in 2014.
- Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for almost 70% of the global total of new HIV infections.
Every family is infected or affected. In the Livingstone and Mukuni area the statistics are the fourth highest in the nation, with 27% of the population infect with HIV. It is imperative that people have access to education, come forward to be tested, know their status and to take the antiretroviral drugs if they are tested positive. Our aim is to assist the rural clinics with their HIV and AIDS prevention methods and to target school pupils through a peer education programme, in order for them to be the ones that make the change.
The only way to reduce the HIV/AIDS statistics is through education – one in six adults in Zambia are infected with the HIV virus.
We are providing an orphan sponsorship program for some 500 children besides assisting thousands more with improved health and education facilities. The statistics in Livingstone and Mukuni Village are some of the highest in the nation due it being a tourist and border area. School pupils are encouraged to be tested for HIV, to remove the stigma and support peers who are HIV positive. Antiretroviral drugs are free of charge and readily available at the rural clinics as are contraceptives to prevent having unprotected sex.
Women who are pregnant and wish to give birth at a clinic are automatically tested for HIV. If the mother is HIV positive the government’s directive is to breastfeed for two years. The infant will also be put on drugs and are tested regularly. Mukuni Health Centre has made good progress in this area and we hope that the new clinic we have constructed at Mahalulu will help to reduce the numbers of people contracting HIV.
Latest Happenings WITH OUR HIV and AIDS Education Project
Education Is The Key
There are 1.2 million orphans in Zambia, primarily as a result of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. All the work done by The Butterfly Tree in Zambia revolves around the well-being of these vulnerable children. Every school we work in has orphans – Mukuni Village has the highest number with a staggering 600 children, over 50%, losing one or both parents!
In October 2010 I had to deal with one of the most heartbreaking situations I have ever encountered. Baby boys, Elvis and Vincent, were born two months premature, after their mother went into early labour. She died during childbirth with a third baby. The hospital could not help them, so when they were just two weeks old, each weighing less than 3lbs, they were sent home, to the remote village of Kamwi. The Butterfly Tree has since supported these adorable little boys. I am overjoyed to tell you that this month they celebrated their fifth birthday!
Our programme has helped hundreds of orphans, and has enabled them to stay with their friends instead of having to go into orphanages. The first orphan we ever sponsored was Peter Liyungu, who went on to complete high school and is now being sponsored by Teamworks to go to college. Peter and another sponsored orphan, called Charity, recently did their work experience at Mukuni and will shortly qualify as teachers. While Josias is volunteering at N’dele School until he is offered a permanent teaching post.
For us to reach out to more orphans we are streamlining the programme. It will remain the same for every orphan who is currently being sponsored. In future rather than sponsoring individual orphans people can donate towards school fees and uniforms, this way hundreds more children can be given a chance to complete their education.
As always education is the key to overcoming poverty and its related issues. We are very grateful to all our sponsors who donate essential funds towards this programme, the guardians who look after the orphans and the volunteers who oversee the welfare of these very special children.
Prevention Saves Lives
Next month is the start of the rainy season in Zambia and with it brings a higher risk of contracting malaria, the biggest killer of man. Though malaria is prevalent all year round, the next few months are the worst. It is essential that children have maximum protection against malaria. Every 60 seconds a child dies from malaria, 75% are under five in sub-Sahara Africa, including Zambia.
Last season the Mukuni Chiefdom alone reported 488 cases of malaria. The Butterfly Tree is currently raising funds to buy Vectorcide’s safe innovative products. Vectorcide caoting is far superior to the current method of indoor residual spraying, which is harmful, less effective and lasts only for six months.
Working alongside the Ministry of Health, who fully support this new intervention, we aim to reduce the number of new cases of malaria. This initiative will not replace insecticide treated mosquito nets, instead it will add further protection to those most at risk, especially infants and pregnant women. Our first distribution is currently taking place in Mukuni villages thanks to a generous donation from Saga Charitable Trust.
November is also the time for planting. After several months without a drop of rain, the parched African terrain is desperate for water. Communities are hoping for ‘good rains’ – last year the rains were so poor, resulting in most maize crops in the Southern Province perishing.
Good nutrition is essential for early development in children, but when your family is poor there is never enough food to go round. For many families surviving on just one meal a day is the norm. Maize is the staple diet of Zambians, especially those living in rural areas, but it is totally rain dependent. Consequently we are looking at crops that need less water.
To date we have supported some twenty schools to initiate sustainable feeding programmes. Our evaluation has shown that pupils performance and attendance is much improved. When children have to walk several miles to get to school it is comforting to know that food will be available.
In the 21st century no child should go hungry, and yet according to the World Food Programme Organisation there are 795 million hungry people, of which 75% are in rural areas of Africa and Asia. Funds for malaria prevention and for feeding programmes are needed for this season. We are very grateful for any support you can offer, please use this link to make a donation.
Advancements in Malaria and HIV Prevention and Maternity Care
The Butterfly Tree is making great strides advancing health facilities in rural Zambia. In addition to the Health Centre we opened at Mahalulu last year, we have built a clinic at Muchambila and two more women’s shelters at Singwamba and Kasiya thanks to generous donations from The Besom and a private donor. This enables women to have a safe place to stay prior to the onset on labour.
With high prevalences of HIV, TB and Malaria there are not enough rural clinics in Zambia. Many people have to walk 30 miles to seek medical attention, which is no mean feat if you are heavily pregnant, have a high temperature or some disability, especially when the temperature soars to 40 degrees Celsius. Mukuni Health Centre has a catchment in access of 8,000 people, this number could be reduced if there were more health posts in outreach areas.
Our new malaria prevention programme, using Vectorcide products aims to reduce the number of cases of malaria, especially in the under fives. 75% of deaths caused by malaria are this age category in sub-Sahara Africa. Our aim is to replace harmful indoor residual spraying with Mozzimort coating. Mosquito nets are still vital and will work in conjunction with the new products to give maximum protection.
Last year saw an alarming increase of malaria in the Southern Province of Zambia. The rainy season starts in November, therefore we urgently need funds to buy more products and mosquito nets in order to avoid a further increase in malaria. With drug resistance growing, prevention is essential. The first villages to be targeted are Chuunga and Kamwi, in the Mukuni Chiefdom, thanks to generous funding by Saga Charitable Trust.
We continue to provide workshops for HIV prevention, using Meet Mutsa’s successful method of training peer educators, to spread the word amongst school pupils. With the extensive presence of HIV, teenage pregnancies and alcohol problems it is imperative that children learn about the dangers of HIV and AIDS at an early age. Our aim, as always, is to promote good health to give these orphaned and vulnerable children a better chance in life.
Improved Water and Education Facilities
This past few months has seen further development in a number of schools in the Mukuni, Nyawa and Sekute Chiefdoms. New classrooms, teacher’s houses, latrines, a bore hole and school shop have all been constructed thanks to generous funding from a variety of donors.
N’dele Primary School has a new 1×2 classroom block and latrines thanks to generous grant aid from the British and Foreign School Society. World Challenge volunteers from Tring School recently camped at Kamwi School where they helped to construct a school shop, painted classrooms and gave further donations to restore a teacher’s house and build a feeding programme shelter.
Group of volunteers from JOAC Community Works Project are currently working at N’gandu School where a 1×3 classroom block, two teacher’s houses and latrines are being built. Their substantial grant has brought much needed development to N’gandu School, which was built in 1947. N’dele, Kamwi and N’gandu Schools are all in the Mukuni Chiefdom.
Further funding from ATD has paid for the construction of a 1×2 classroom block and latrines at Singwamba, their donation also includes latrines for Kauwe School. These schools are both in the Nyawa Chiefdom where we have also advanced Muchambile and Nampuyani Schools. A bore hole donated by Cayman Island’s Sunrise Rotary Club, Churches of Abbots Leigh and Abbots Wood, Nick Bousliman and other donors has given Bunsunga school children a chance to taste fresh water for the first time.
River View School, in the Sekute Chiefdom, has received support to complete their pre-school. With over 1,000 pupils, the school is continues to enrol more children due to the recently developed town of Kazungula. Donations from St.Paul’s School, Wigan and individuals have been used to buy the new syllabus text books for this school as well as Muchambile and Kamwi. Inner Wheel Club District 6 knitted beautiful blankets, jumpers and hats for the pupils.
Zambia has some of the highest poverty levels in the world. It is essential for these orphaned and vulnerable children to receive a sound education.
Launch of Malaria Prevention Project
I have just returned from a very productive visit to Zambia with the highlight being the launch of our new innovative malaria prevention project. This took place at the Avani Victoria Falls Resort on July 29th and was attended by the Deputy Permanent Secretary, Government Health and Education officials, District Commissioners, Leading Members of the Communities, the Tourism Sector and the Chamber of Commerce. We are very grateful to Avani for donating the use of a conference room.
After my opening address the Deputy Permanent Secretary gave a speech followed by a presentation of the malaria prevention products by Stain Musungaila, The Butterfly Tree member who manages the project in Zambia. This was gratefully received by the Ministries and Heads of the Communities, and was subsequently reported in the national press.
The product details can be found using this link: Presentation – Vectorcide 2015
Malaria remains the number one killer of man. 75% of all deaths occur in children under the age of five in sub-Sahara Africa. Every 60 second a child dies from malaria. With a vaccine yet to be approved by the WHO malaria prevention is essential. According to the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine these advanced products, supplied by Vectorcide UK and manufactured in a cutting edge laboratory in Poland, are far superior to anything else currently available on the global market.
Thanks to Saga Charitable Trust the first shipment has arrived in Zambia and is being distributed in villages in the Mukuni Chiefdom where there is a high prevalence of malaria. Chuunga, Kamwi and Syaflwebafweba reported almost four hundred cases of malaria last year. It is imperative that we get these villages covered with Mozzimort before the onset of the rainy season.
Other donations have come from individuals and Inner Wheel District 6, after The Butterfly Tree was chosen as their international charity of the year for two consecutive years 2013-15. Zambia is a vast country with many areas becoming inaccessible during the rains.
The Ministry of Health, the National Malaria Control Centre, the Zambian Scientific Research Centre and the Environmental Agencies have been instrumental in helping us to get these products into Zambia. It is now hoped that both the Provincial health departments and the private sector will purchase these products to help prevent more loss of life.
We need further funds to reach out to rural communities – donations can be made using our secure on line facility: DONATE
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