Too frequently we receive sad news from Sue-Ann, Director of VMS, announcing yet another young, preventable death.
“Last week, Andries, a young boy of 14 died.” By the time Andries was admitted to the hospital, he was already quite ill. His caregiver challenged the hospital’s decision to discharge him after only 4 days and a short time later Andries died at home.
It is at these times HFL recognizes just how important our work is….how critical your financial support is ….how tenuous the difference between life and death.
Andries, an impoverished HIV+ teenager lived in a desolate, isolated village. He and his elderly caregiver regularly attended the support group meetings run by VMS, until funding from Oxfam stopped last April. Funding stopped…outreach workers were let go…outreach support group meetings stopped ….home visits to outlying villages stopped….Andries and children like him died.
HFL has always supported the ARV Workshops for children and adolescents focusing on skills training, healthy diet information and discussions on the social stigma associated with HIV+/AIDS. We continue to support the local adolescents but we just do not have the funds needed to support the entire outreach program.
VMS may have lost Oxfam funding, but they have not stopped caring. HFL continues to support efforts to educate our HIV+/AIDS youngsters and their caregivers. It is crucial that they understand the importance of adhering to their drug regimen so our most recent contribution will be spent on a workshop for caregivers to let them know that at the first sign of a child falling ill, VMS MUST be informed.
HFL will always attempt to find emergency funding for any child who needs immediate medical attention. We are interested in any new ideas on how HFL can best support our HIV+/AIDS youngsters and the Community Outreach Program.
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