The Kabwe Family Health Institute is training volunteers from the community to assist with home based care for people living with HIV/AIDS. The training is linked into a government programme to encourage voluntary counselling and training (VCT) around HIV/AIDS. Its purpose is to address the stigma and encourage healthy living for people who have HIV/AIDS.
Local people are selected by their community to undergo the training and they then take on the role of volunteer 'care-givers' in the community. 81 volunteer Home Based Care providers and 10 Traditional Birth Attendants are currently working in communities in Kabwe to provide care and support to 400 chronically ill people. Two health field supervisors monitor the work of the volunteers and regularly accompany them on home visits in order to provide encouragement, support and guidance.
As well as helping with house chores, the volunteers offer HIV/AIDS sufferers advice on how to live healthily. Each volunteer also receives a first aid kit containing palliative medicines, antibiotics, antiseptics and gloves so that they can administer basic first aid.
The project has also trained 25 volunteer HIV/AIDS counsellors and educators who are now assisting in sensitizing local communities on matters relating to preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Funds provided to Kabwe Family Health Institute by WER have contributed towards staff salaries and have been used for training birth attendants and counsellors and purchasing first-aid kits and teaching aids. WER has also funded the purchase of bicycles to assist care-givers in visiting ill patients at home.
In 2005, WER provided funding for the project manager of ADRA Zambia to visit similar projects in Rwanda and Burundi. This enabled a sharing of skills and knowledge between the projects and provided an opportunity to gain new ideas on how to improve and develop the existing work.
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