People Living With H.I.V.

People Living With H.I.V.

People Living With HIV (PLWHIV) focuses not only on the infected but, also on the affected. It takes a holistic approach to the well-being of a person. Those in the community of the patient are counselled and assisted to accept the person. We aim to reduce or more ideally eliminate discrimination of the person. Under this programme everyone is catered for from a toddler to a senior citizen.
The main objective is to offer a holistic approach of the community. If there is health of an individual there is health of the family leading to health of the community and economy at large. Healthy guardians help their families grow and mature.

Economic Strengthening

Livelllihood/ economic strengthening/ Income generating project are all synonyms. The essence of Livelihoods is for poverty reduction among people infected and affected by HIV, poverty, TB and disability in and around Harare’s poorest communities. These livelihoods are done individually and in groups. This is done to enable benefiting households to earn an income which can be used for basic needs such as children’s education, and consultation fees and food.
Communities are also taught on internal savings and lending (ISALs) for community groups to save money for future use. This acts as a fall back for people in IGA’s against the economic hardships that has hit the country. Beneficiaries of IGAs are also given knowledge on entrepreneurship which will enable them to run their businesses well.
Skills Training
Support groups for couples are meant to equip members with interpersonal communication skills that will enable them to negotiate for safer sex and good health seeking behaviours. Livelihood skills through training in ISAL.

Mashambanzou Care Unit (MCU)

The Mashambanzou Care Unit (MCU) is the centre for holistic treatment of those infected and affected by HIV and AIDS. Located in Waterfalls Harare we offer admisions to those in need of treatment. As a Private Voluntary Organisation all the services offered at the MCU are free of charge. We do not discriminate any individual or group of individuals based on any criteria. The MCU is centred around three activities:
  1. Treatment
  2. Counselling and Health Education
  3. Physiotherapy
  4. Treatments
    We offer treatment to those in need. Patients can be admitted or be treated for minor ailments. Their is a visiting doctor who treats and assesses the patient's needs. Various investigations and test procedures are conducted to better help improve the health of the patients. There is a ntritional support program to better aid the healing process.
    Our meals are balanced and can be customized as per patient nutrtional requirements. Medicines are dispensed to patients on a daily basis and as per doctor's prescription. However, there are cases whereby the MCU will fail to offer full care to the individual. In such cases the patient is refferd to a specialist practioner or institution. Mashambanzou Care Trust will assume the bills incurred upon such a refferal.
    Counselling/Health Education
    People have a hard time accepting their positive HIV status at times. we offer post test counselling services to thopse in need. Individuals and their families need all the support they can get to be able to live a full life despite their status.
    Families and social fellows might need counselling in order to understand the disease. This is known as integration counselling to help the society to interact with the patient. After such counselling most people are able to better accept the patient and likely less discrimination. Closely coupled with counselling is spritual support which helps in the holistic healing of the individual.
    We offer physiotherapy to aid movement and help prevent muscle deterioration. There are patients in dire need of rehabilitation. They include those who have been non-ambulent or have had strokes. Physiotherapy helps in building of muscle and the strengthening of the immune system. Patients are taken through step by step till they are fully ambulent and cane be economically productive.

A.R.T. Adherence

Anti-Retroviral (ART) adherence is taking anti –retroviral drugs religiously meaning taking the correct drug at the correct time, taking the right dose using the correct route. Adhering to ART results in suppression of the virus which helps to prevent opportunistic infections there by maintaining a healthy status for people living with HIV.
It also reduces the rate of HIV transmission from one person to another for example mother to child transmission and cross infections amongst couples living with HIV. ART adherence counseling is being done by Mashambanzou Care Trust (MCT) as it is essential in achieving the above objectives. Counseling is being offered on individual basis and as groups. Support groups have been formed to encourage ART adherence in adolescents and adults were they share life experiences which helps them to understand better from their peers.
Reasons for defaulting ART have merged as the following:

  1. Stigma and discrimination where one stops to take his /her medication for fear of being discriminated
  2. Lack of proper counseling especially amongst youths
  3. Religious beliefs where one is believed to have been healed of HIV and AIDS
  4. Feeling strong and one sees no reason to take his/her medication
  5. Lack of food and nutritional support due to the prevailing economic hardship