Community work is one of the most important parts of identifying people living with HIV and helping them get on ART and stay on treatment. We are continually present in the community to ensure our patients are supported and we can reach out to new audiences.
Part of this work involves community testing events (Community Outreaches) where we provide HIV awareness, testing and access to treatment. Once someone tests as HIV+ getting them on treatment isnt always straight forward and our staff and community volunteers can experience barriers which prevent people accessing care. This was the case for 10 year old Owen.
Owen comes from a family of 2. He had a younger brother who passed away when he was small. Owen's mother was identified as HIV+ during antenatal visits but didn't seek treatment and therefore Owen was born with HIV.
Owen had previously been tested twice for HIV but his mother suffers with alcohol abuse issues and had never sought treatment for him. After TTF tested Owen she agreed to enrol Owen onto treatment. However during our follow up process it was found Owen had not accessed HIV services. Owen's mother had travelled out of town, leaving him in the care of his grandmother but had not informed anyone of his status.
Owen's grandmother was reluctant to start him on treatment without the mothers consent. Our community health volunteers worked with the grandmother to educate her on HIV, and provide health advice and support which would benefit the child. She talked about how he was always sick, so our health volunteers talked about the benefits of treatment, helping her to understand the importance of ART and immediate access to treatment.
After much support and engagement Owen is now on treatment and doing very well. We will continue to monitor his progress and provide the community support the family needs to ensure Owen can live a long, healthy life. Work at the TTF Clinic involves so many people and we continue to be grateful to all of those who help change lives and make our work possible.
In February 2018, TTF USA Board members Tom, Colleen, Kris along with young Tim took a trip to Zambia to reconnect with the staff and see what happening, on the ground.
As always the trip felt way too short, but was a great way to witness how your donations are improving the lives of the patients at the TTF clinic. Being physically present and witnessing the work first hand really makes us feel proud of the work that is being done. We are so fortunate to see the smiling faces of the children and the changes the work of TTF is having on these vulnerable individuals’ lives.
One of the highlights of the trip was on a clinic day, where families come in for check-ups, counselling and to pick up their medication. We were able to hand out a food package of eggs, oil, flour, beans, onion, potatoes, rice and sugar to each of the families who are in the Nutrition Program. We heard stories from the team and patients about how this program had changed children’s lives. Your donations have made this possible.
We saw many pregnant women who are supported with information and tools to prevent the transfer of HIV to their unborn child. Alongside medication, TTF supports these women with birthing hampers. Just a small hamper including a nappy, cotton wool, a blanket, latex gloves, an umbilical cord clamp and disinfectant can mean the difference between birthing at home – or safely at a clinic. It was great to hear the results and successes and that in 2016 & 2017, thanks to you, ZERO babies were born HIV+.
The staff and the patients are so very grateful for all of the donations from you, our supporters. Because of you, TTF is able to provide a complete package medication, nutrition, counseling and social support for entire families. Without your help these families would not be able to live normal healthy lives.
We continue to be grateful to all of our donors for your support. Your donations are changing lives, we have witnessed it many times first hand, but after our visit feel even more compelled to continue our work . Together we can change lives and work towards a generation where no child has HIV.
Tiny Tim & Friends has entered a film competition, Every Footstep Counts, and we need your help.
The competition aims to showcase and celebrate the successes organisations, like Tiny Tim & Friends, are making worldwide that are integral to end mother-to-child transmission and paediatric HIV. By following this link and voting for Tiny Tim & Friends film, "The Power of Living Positively", you can help us to win £10,000 and the opportunity to attend the International AIDS Conference in 2018 and showcase our work to global leaders in the field of HIV.
Vote for Tiny Tim & Friends Film and help us to win £10,000.
The Six films with the most votes will go to a judging panel where the top two will be classified as winners. So we need your votes!
Tiny Tim & Friends' film focuses on the work of one of our community health volunteers, Margaret. Margaret lives positively within her community, sharing her status to encourage others to access HIV testing and treatment. Through her work with the TTF Clinic she reaches out to vulnerable children and pregnant women who would have otherwise not accessed services. Every day she engages with new people, working to ensure children and pregnant women living with HIV are accessing treatment and staying in care. She continually follows TTF's Mission - working towards a future where no child is living with HIV.
Watch the video on the Every Footstep Counts website and vote for Tiny Tim & Friends - The Power of Positivity