Debt Detective: A HIV/AIDS Story in Zalinkgalinga, Zambia

May 19, 2010 at 7:09 am Leave a comment

Debt Detective: A HIV/AIDS Story in Zalinkgalinga, Zambia

By Pat Rumer, Debt Detective, Jubilee USA

Jubilee Debt Detective

In January 2007,  I visited Lusaka as part of a Jubilee USA delegation.

I was so impressed by the compassionate care that Our Lady’s Hospice provided to its clients that I returned this week to Kalingalinga, Lusaka, Zambia to visit.  In particular, I remembered Matron Venus Shamoya who is working post-retirement at the hospice.  The Director, Sister Kay O’Neil is from Ireland.

Venus Shamoya, Sister Kay O'Neil and Pat Rumer
 I asked Venus and Sister Kay what has changed in the past three years regarding HIV-AIDS.  The good news at the hospice is that they have a 70% recovery rate with people living and working with HIV-AIDS.  They have expanded their outreach clinic and prevention program. The clinic serves approximately 1600 patients a month.

The people staying in the hospice are “sicker” and usually come from outside Lusaka but even among the more advanced cases, some of the people have recovered.  The hospice has bed capacity for 30 patients.

The other good news is that they have expanded their wards and embarked on income-generating activities:  a gym that serves the clients in the morning and provides massage and gym services for a fee in the afternoon to the general public.  In addition, they have opened a ward for paying customers with HIV-AIDS.  They have plans for a small hostel/hotel for international visitors that will generate income for the hospice programs. 

Venus has continued to work at the hospice out of her deep commitment to her patients.  She is happy that the number of orphans is on the decrease.  However, she has seen increased resistance to the first and second line drugs and also, TB and Meningitis are on the increase in HIV-AIDS patients. 

Zambia is a poor country – more than 70% live on less than $1-2 a day.  HIV-AIDS interfaces with poverty – people lack access to clean water and therefore, poor hygiene.  Pharmacy Staff  

Sister Kay said that for every one person on AVR’s (anti-virals) there are four to five Zambians who are HIV positive.  The government has done a good job by testing persons, but has offered little assistance in terms of anti-biotic and other drugs not coved by PEPFAR or the Global Fund.

The distressing news to me from Sister Kay was that their PEPFAR funding had ended and she was unsure how soon there would be a new funding round from US AID.  The drug “Abacavir Sulphate” is in short supply so they are only able to give a one week supply to outpatients. 

Venus thanked the missionaries and NGO’s working to prevent HIV-AIDS.  In truth, she said, the government conducts studies, but does not get involved in the grassroots with poor communities.  The public health clinics are overwhelmed with patients and have limited drug supplies so it critical that private groups continue their efforts.  Venus asked that we continue to advocate for increased funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund, as well as to continue our advocacy for extended debt cancellation to assist other debtor nations in Africa.

Patient at hospiceThe hospice is a beautiful place – lush rose gardens, a vegetable garden that provides fresh produce for e residents, a new pharmacy and lab, but the most important thing to me is the personal care and commitment of the people working there.  About 30% of the hospice staff is HIV positive.  They serve as models to both outpatient and resident patients as they are living proof of the ability to live and work with HIV-AIDS!

NOTE:  As a private NGO, Our Lady’s Hospice was not directly impacted by debt cancellation as it was a government to government debt deal and thus, only an indirect impact if the government had been able to increase overall health care funding.  I will visit a government health clinic this week to see the impact of debt cancellation on health expenditures. 

.

Debt Detective: A HIV/AIDS Story in Zalinkgalinga, Zambia

By Pat Rumer, Debt Detective, Jubilee USA

Jubilee Debt Detective

In January 2007,  I visited Lusaka as part of a Jubilee USA delegation.

I was so impressed by the compassionate care that Our Lady’s Hospice provided to its clients that I returned this week to Kalingalinga, Lusaka, Zambia to visit.  In particular, I remembered Matron Venus Shamoya who is working post-retirement at the hospice.  The Director, Sister Kay O’Neil is from Ireland.

Venus Shamoya, Sister Kay O'Neil and Pat Rumer
 I asked Venus and Sister Kay what has changed in the past three years regarding HIV-AIDS.  The good news at the hospice is that they have a 70% recovery rate with people living and working with HIV-AIDS.  They have expanded their outreach clinic and prevention program. The clinic serves approximately 1600 patients a month.

The people staying in the hospice are “sicker” and usually come from outside Lusaka but even among the more advanced cases, some of the people have recovered.  The hospice has bed capacity for 30 patients.

The other good news is that they have expanded their wards and embarked on income-generating activities:  a gym that serves the clients in the morning and provides massage and gym services for a fee in the afternoon to the general public.  In addition, they have opened a ward for paying customers with HIV-AIDS.  They have plans for a small hostel/hotel for international visitors that will generate income for the hospice programs. 

Venus has continued to work at the hospice out of her deep commitment to her patients.  She is happy that the number of orphans is on the decrease.  However, she has seen increased resistance to the first and second line drugs and also, TB and Meningitis are on the increase in HIV-AIDS patients. 

Zambia is a poor country – more than 70% live on less than $1-2 a day.  HIV-AIDS interfaces with poverty – people lack access to clean water and therefore, poor hygiene.  Pharmacy Staff  

Sister Kay said that for every one person on AVR’s (anti-virals) there are four to five Zambians who are HIV positive.  The government has done a good job by testing persons, but has offered little assistance in terms of anti-biotic and other drugs not coved by PEPFAR or the Global Fund.

The distressing news to me from Sister Kay was that their PEPFAR funding had ended and she was unsure how soon there would be a new funding round from US AID.  The drug “Abacavir Sulphate” is in short supply so they are only able to give a one week supply to outpatients. 

Venus thanked the missionaries and NGO’s working to prevent HIV-AIDS.  In truth, she said, the government conducts studies, but does not get involved in the grassroots with poor communities.  The public health clinics are overwhelmed with patients and have limited drug supplies so it critical that private groups continue their efforts.  Venus asked that we continue to advocate for increased funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund, as well as to continue our advocacy for extended debt cancellation to assist other debtor nations in Africa.

Patient at hospiceThe hospice is a beautiful place – lush rose gardens, a vegetable garden that provides fresh produce for e residents, a new pharmacy and lab, but the most important thing to me is the personal care and commitment of the people working there.  About 30% of the hospice staff is HIV positive.  They serve as models to both outpatient and resident patients as they are living proof of the ability to live and work with HIV-AIDS!

NOTE:  As a private NGO, Our Lady’s Hospice was not directly impacted by debt cancellation as it was a government to government debt deal and thus, only an indirect impact if the government had been able to increase overall health care funding.  I will visit a government health clinic this week to see the impact of debt cancellation on health expenditures. 

Debt Detective: A HIV/AIDS Story in Zalinkgalinga, Zambia

By Pat Rumer, Debt Detective, Jubilee USA

Jubilee Debt Detective

In January 2007,  I visited Lusaka as part of a Jubilee USA delegation.

I was so impressed by the compassionate care that Our Lady’s Hospice provided to its clients that I returned this week to Kalingalinga, Lusaka, Zambia to visit.  In particular, I remembered Matron Venus Shamoya who is working post-retirement at the hospice.  The Director, Sister Kay O’Neil is from Ireland.

Venus Shamoya, Sister Kay O'Neil and Pat Rumer
 I asked Venus and Sister Kay what has changed in the past three years regarding HIV-AIDS.  The good news at the hospice is that they have a 70% recovery rate with people living and working with HIV-AIDS.  They have expanded their outreach clinic and prevention program. The clinic serves approximately 1600 patients a month.

The people staying in the hospice are “sicker” and usually come from outside Lusaka but even among the more advanced cases, some of the people have recovered.  The hospice has bed capacity for 30 patients.

The other good news is that they have expanded their wards and embarked on income-generating activities:  a gym that serves the clients in the morning and provides massage and gym services for a fee in the afternoon to the general public.  In addition, they have opened a ward for paying customers with HIV-AIDS.  They have plans for a small hostel/hotel for international visitors that will generate income for the hospice programs. 

Venus has continued to work at the hospice out of her deep commitment to her patients.  She is happy that the number of orphans is on the decrease.  However, she has seen increased resistance to the first and second line drugs and also, TB and Meningitis are on the increase in HIV-AIDS patients. 

Zambia is a poor country – more than 70% live on less than $1-2 a day.  HIV-AIDS interfaces with poverty – people lack access to clean water and therefore, poor hygiene.  Pharmacy Staff  

Sister Kay said that for every one person on AVR’s (anti-virals) there are four to five Zambians who are HIV positive.  The government has done a good job by testing persons, but has offered little assistance in terms of anti-biotic and other drugs not coved by PEPFAR or the Global Fund.

The distressing news to me from Sister Kay was that their PEPFAR funding had ended and she was unsure how soon there would be a new funding round from US AID.  The drug “Abacavir Sulphate” is in short supply so they are only able to give a one week supply to outpatients. 

Venus thanked the missionaries and NGO’s working to prevent HIV-AIDS.  In truth, she said, the government conducts studies, but does not get involved in the grassroots with poor communities.  The public health clinics are overwhelmed with patients and have limited drug supplies so it critical that private groups continue their efforts.  Venus asked that we continue to advocate for increased funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund, as well as to continue our advocacy for extended debt cancellation to assist other debtor nations in Africa.

Patient at hospiceThe hospice is a beautiful place – lush rose gardens, a vegetable garden that provides fresh produce for e residents, a new pharmacy and lab, but the most important thing to me is the personal care and commitment of the people working there.  About 30% of the hospice staff is HIV positive.  They serve as models to both outpatient and resident patients as they are living proof of the ability to live and work with HIV-AIDS!

NOTE:  As a private NGO, Our Lady’s Hospice was not directly impacted by debt cancellation as it was a government to government debt deal and thus, only an indirect impact if the government had been able to increase overall health care funding.  I will visit a government health clinic this week to see the impact of debt cancellation on health expenditures. 

.

Debt Detective: A HIV/AIDS Story in Zalinkgalinga, Zambia

By Pat Rumer, Debt Detective, Jubilee USA

Jubilee Debt Detective

In January 2007,  I visited Lusaka as part of a Jubilee USA delegation.

I was so impressed by the compassionate care that Our Lady’s Hospice provided to its clients that I returned this week to Kalingalinga, Lusaka, Zambia to visit.  In particular, I remembered Matron Venus Shamoya who is working post-retirement at the hospice.  The Director, Sister Kay O’Neil is from Ireland.

Venus Shamoya, Sister Kay O'Neil and Pat Rumer
 I asked Venus and Sister Kay what has changed in the past three years regarding HIV-AIDS.  The good news at the hospice is that they have a 70% recovery rate with people living and working with HIV-AIDS.  They have expanded their outreach clinic and prevention program. The clinic serves approximately 1600 patients a month.

The people staying in the hospice are “sicker” and usually come from outside Lusaka but even among the more advanced cases, some of the people have recovered.  The hospice has bed capacity for 30 patients.

The other good news is that they have expanded their wards and embarked on income-generating activities:  a gym that serves the clients in the morning and provides massage and gym services for a fee in the afternoon to the general public.  In addition, they have opened a ward for paying customers with HIV-AIDS.  They have plans for a small hostel/hotel for international visitors that will generate income for the hospice programs. 

Venus has continued to work at the hospice out of her deep commitment to her patients.  She is happy that the number of orphans is on the decrease.  However, she has seen increased resistance to the first and second line drugs and also, TB and Meningitis are on the increase in HIV-AIDS patients. 

Zambia is a poor country – more than 70% live on less than $1-2 a day.  HIV-AIDS interfaces with poverty – people lack access to clean water and therefore, poor hygiene.  Pharmacy Staff  

Sister Kay said that for every one person on AVR’s (anti-virals) there are four to five Zambians who are HIV positive.  The government has done a good job by testing persons, but has offered little assistance in terms of anti-biotic and other drugs not coved by PEPFAR or the Global Fund.

The distressing news to me from Sister Kay was that their PEPFAR funding had ended and she was unsure how soon there would be a new funding round from US AID.  The drug “Abacavir Sulphate” is in short supply so they are only able to give a one week supply to outpatients. 

Venus thanked the missionaries and NGO’s working to prevent HIV-AIDS.  In truth, she said, the government conducts studies, but does not get involved in the grassroots with poor communities.  The public health clinics are overwhelmed with patients and have limited drug supplies so it critical that private groups continue their efforts.  Venus asked that we continue to advocate for increased funding for PEPFAR and the Global Fund, as well as to continue our advocacy for extended debt cancellation to assist other debtor nations in Africa.

Patient at hospiceThe hospice is a beautiful place – lush rose gardens, a vegetable garden that provides fresh produce for e residents, a new pharmacy and lab, but the most important thing to me is the personal care and commitment of the people working there.  About 30% of the hospice staff is HIV positive.  They serve as models to both outpatient and resident patients as they are living proof of the ability to live and work with HIV-AIDS!

NOTE:  As a private NGO, Our Lady’s Hospice was not directly impacted by debt cancellation as it was a government to government debt deal and thus, only an indirect impact if the government had been able to increase overall health care funding.  I will visit a government health clinic this week to see the impact of debt cancellation on health expenditures.

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