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The HIV virus is transmitted through bodily fluids, and the most common method of transmission is through sexual contact, although it can also be transmitted through sharing equipment used to inject drugs.
The virus attacks and weakens the immune system. If allowed to progress, it can lead to AIDS, which is almost always fatal unless treated.
A woman who is HIV infected can transmit the virus to her baby during pregnancy, childbirth or breastfeeding.
HIV cannot be cured completely. However, antiretroviral drugs can help suppress the virus, which means that people infected with HIV who have access to care and treatment, can avoid getting AIDS and lead full and productive lives.
How is Nurture Africa tackling HIV
- By providing access to voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) to enable all members of society to know their HIV status.
- By facilitating sexual & reproductive health and peer education workshops with youth in order to increase knowledge and understanding of HIV transmission and how to protect oneself from contracting the virus.
- By providing care & anti-retroviral treatment to all HIV infected children and adults, from all backgrounds, at the Nurture Africa Health Centre.
- Through the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) by providing HIV infected and pregnant women with ante-natal care, delivery service and post-natal care
(Treatment programmes in Uganda have resulted in an 86% reduction in new infections among children between 2010 and 2016)
Paediatric Primary Healthcare
The biggest challenge for countries wanting to cut child mortality rates is a lack of robust healthcare infrastructure and a lack of healthcare professionals. By increasing access to Primary Healthcare services, Nurture Africa is working to reduce the child mortality rate in Wakiso District, Uganda.
The majority of children who tragically die, could be saved by medical treatment or prevention measures that stop them contracting illnesses or diseases in the first place.
The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG's) aim to reduce the deaths of under-fives from 43 to 25 per 1,000 live births. Nurture Africa is contributing towards achieving this goal.
How is Nurture Africa is supporting child healthcare
- By facilitating Immunisation Clinics for new born children to ensure they live free of vaccine-preventable diseases.
- By providing treatment for the illnesses and diseases that can be fatal to a child, such as:
- By operating an ambulance service in order to transfer children to the Nurture Africa health centre or upon referal to hospital.
- Reducing malnutrition by teaching & supporting families to produce their own nutritious food through the establishment of home vegetable plots.
Maternal & Child Healthcare
Uganda's maternal mortality rate is among the highest on the continent of Africa and in the world at 336 deaths per 100,000 live births.
The infant mortality rate (from birth to one year old) stands at 56 death per 1,000. The higher proportion of these statistics comes within rural areas and poorer communities.
However 80% of maternal and new born infant deaths are preventable with available high-impact interventions.
Access to skilled care before, during and after childbirth can save the lives of women and newborn babies.
How Nurture Africa is improving maternal & child health
- By providing family planning services.
- By providing antenatal care services which boosts awareness and understanding of the process of pregnancy, birth and early parenting which can help to prevent complications.
- By introducing "Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission"(eMTCT) to ensure every child is born and lives free of HIV.
- By providing delivery services to ensure that mothers deliver and children are born in a controlled, hygienic and safe environment.
- By providing cervical cancer screening services.
- By providing post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) with the intention of reducing the risk of HIV transmission within 72 hours of exposure.
- By providing postnatal care services for mothers and new-borns up to one year of age.
The 2014 census in Uganda illustrates that 13.3% of the population over 5 years of age are living with a disability (UNSTATS). In Uganda, this is defined as:
"a substantial functional limitation of daily life activities caused by physical, mental or sensory impairment and environmental barriers resulting in limited participation”.
Challenges relates to poverty create a uniquely challenging environment for children living with a disability and their families as their ability to access and/or afford essential care and services are extremely limited.
Often this results in children living with disabilities receiving no specialised care and treatment which leads to further health complications.
Negative stereotypes, prejudice, and stigma contribute to the discrimination and exclusion of children living with disabilities and their families in all aspects of their lives. This can result in children living with a disability being hidden from public view and prevents them from accessing essential treatment, education and contributing within their communities.
A lack of assistive aids (such as wheelchairs) and basic infrastructure such as ramps, handrails etc create a less inclusive environment.
How Nurture Africa is improving maternal & child health
- Through the establishment of physiotherapy centre in conjunction with University College Dublin Volunteer Overseas (UCDVO) to support children living with a disability and their families.
- By providing access to physiotherapy services in order to improve a client's ability to perform movements of their body.
- By providing access to child and family centred occupational therapy which focuses on improving a child's ability to perform normal daily activities and live a more inclusive life.
Nurture Africa wishes to express its sincere gratitude to UCDVO for its partnership on this project.
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