Wednesday, 7 September 2016
With so many pressing needs around the world it is no surprise that HIV/AIDS is feeling the effects of donor fatigue and constantly changing priorities. The result of this in Malawi, where still 10% of the population are living with HIV and government health services are over-stretched and failing, is that Home Based Care programs are still urgently needed and yet many have closed due to lack of funding.
Just last month a local health worker confirmed that despite the overwhelming and continuing need, SIM Malawi's Home Based Care program is the only one still operating in the whole of the Nsanje district. What a challenge and yet what an opportunity for the church to keep demonstrating that they have not forgotten or abandoned those suffering, and that they are faithfully there for the long haul.
The 125 church volunteers in the six home-based care locations in rural Malawi continue to bring physical, emotional and spiritual support to over 300 beneficaries and their carers. To give a picture of how the program is making a difference in individual lives just consider some of the variety of needs represented in the group pictured.
- Amongst these faces there is a twelve-year-old who was admitted due to a severe skin conditions. Volunteers were able to counsel him to be tested for HIV and has since been started on Antiretroviral treatment.
- There is a young man with a HIV related cancer who has been assisted with transport to receive treatment. Since receiving reatement he has been able to walk again and return to school.
- There is a widow with five children. Since being a part of the program she has been able to access antiretroviral treatment and regain strength through vitamin fortified maize porridge. While she is still weak and underweight, the program has helped her make ends meet and care for her famiy throigh a small business selling chitumbuwa (maize flour & sugar snack).
Thank you for helping SIM Australia to empower the church volunteers provide the long term, faithful support needed to walk alongside so many individuals. Your prayer and financial support is helping to slowly re-build lives and renew hope for the future.
If you would like to support the work of SIM's 'HOPE for AIDS' fund in their work of restoring hope to people living with HIV/AIDS, click here.