In August 2014, Tiny Tim and Friends were lucky to have Dr Saydi Chahla from Minesota come to volunteer with us for a month, not only supporting our community outreach programmes but also bringing her medical knowledge and experience to our TTF Clinic. Below she recalls some of the highlights of working with us:
My name is Dr Saydi Chahla and I came to work with Tiny Tim and Friends (TTF) from July 28th to August 26th 2014.
One of my biggest roles at TTF was working at their clinic. This is based in the centre of Lusaka, where the staff see over 20-30 patients in a five hour period. Working alongside one of the TTF clinical officers, I was involved in the care of nearly 250 patients with HIV in the month I was there. This was quite different to my experience at home and I quickly had to adapt to the high volume of patients who come through the clinic.
Last year TTF worked in a variety of different compounds around Lusaka to reach as many people as possible. In 2014, funded by the Diplomatic Spouses Association of Zambia, we have begun undertaking much smaller more targeted outreaches in Chibolya, one of the most economically and socially deprived areas of Lusaka.
Chibolya has no government facilities, including no health posts, government schools or law enforcement services. The community is incredibly hostile and suspicious of outside organisations and NGO’s. We have been operating in the community through our social work team and utilising our volunteer women’s groups to build a trust with community leaders, teachers and schools.
Through hard work and perseverance TTF staff have successfully held 27 outreaches and tested 1,575 individuals for HIV.