Los trabajadores de MTENDERE son enteramente Malawianos. Desde España trabajamos para la formación y contratación de nuevos profesionales que mejoren la calidad del servicio médico proporcionado desde el Centro
El proyecto está dirigido por una congregación local: las Teresian Sisters, capitaneadas por la hermana FLORENCE
La Parroquia de la Candelaria, en Sevilla, está hermanada con Mtendere. El Doctor Pepe Verdugo va cada año a supervisar la marcha de los numerosos programas en marcha. Un voluntario sobre el terreno hace habitualmente de nexo de unión entre Mtendere y Africa Directo.
VCT Project in Mtendere (VCT=Voluntary Counselling Test for HIV/AIDS)
Mtendere Health Centre opens new DREAM VCT Centre HIV in Malawi The impact of the HIV disease is incredible in Africa and as well in Malawi. The first HIV/AIDS case in Malawi was diagnosed at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in 1985. From 1985 to 1998, about 265000 people were registered as AIDS [National AIDS Commission 1998]. It is noted that new infections in young men and women aged between 15 and 24 are increasing with more young women being infected [60%] than young men [40%]. It is also noted that there is smaller number of AIDS cases in the age of 5 to 14 years old age group compared to the age of 1 to 4 years and 15 to 24 years. This emphasizes the point that the main modes of transmission of HIV are through sexual contact or mother to child transmission [MTCT]. Population Mtendere catchment area
Dedza district has not been spared from this pandemic. The district has an HIV prevalence rate of 15.5% on average. The prevalence rate for rural is 8.3% and 22% for the urban population. Despite such high HIV prevalence rate the district has only 6 VCT sites and 2 ART sites. The VCT stands for Volunteering Counselling and Testing. In these centres people will be able to be tested on HIV and they will receive the necessary counselling and support in case of tested positive. The ART sites are able to provide the AntiRetroviral Therapy. Patients will receive the drugs to control the disease and they will be able to resume a normal life where they can take care of themselves and their families.
Mtendere Health Centre has a population of 20.000 between age group of 15 to 49. There are no VCT or ART services around this area yet the need is there. This was an urgent reason to start up an HIV testing and treatment centre in Mtendere. With this new centre we are going to try to improve the lives of HIV/AIDS patients, to reduce the mother to child transmission and to teach the population about the risks, dangerousness and prevention of this disease. VCT under construction in MTENDERE Health centre
In these last months of 2007 Africa Directo is constructing the new building and introducing the program DREAM (=Drugs Enhancement against Aids and Malnutrition) in our area. This program will be supported by the Italian NGO Community of Saint Egidio and has reached incredible results in the last years, concerning especially pregnant women and new born babies. Dream is a programme of control, prevention and treatment, meaning it is part of the global fight against HIV infection in Malawi. The Dream programme was created with the objective of merging prevention and treatment, from the starting principle that lives must be saved as well as infection prevented, securing a longer lifespan for a greater number of people. The programme is based on partnerships and with this collaboration we are able to strengthen the services of Mtendere Health Centre. Clearing spot for Mtendere DREAM Centre
9. Aims of the project Our aim is to reduce the amount of HIV positive cases in our catchment area and to give the infected people a worth full life, for themselves as well for their family. With the new centre, therefore the possibility of the treatment we also expect to reduce the infection through mother to child transmission. In comparable centres the number of uninfected new born from HIV positive mothers have been growing till more than 90%. Starting from zero The new ART centre will be working under the Management Board of Mtendere Health Centre, but won’t be interfering with the work at the Heath Centre. That means we will construct a new building, staff members won’t be working at the same time at the Health Centre and ART Centre and the administration will be on his own. Sister In Charge Mtendere Health Centre, Sister Florence Kankota Patient Attendants Mtendere Health Centre With the start of the new centre we will point out certain members who will be receiving extra training about HIV treatment. They will work certain days a week in the health centre and other days in the HIV centre. Given the time, it probably will be necessary to work with to complete different staff for the health centre and the HIV centre.
Improving lives won’t be reached by only providing free treatment; it concerns a whole health programme. The drugs will only have affect with a mulitvitamin diet. The vitamins are often a lack in the nutrition in Malawi. Therefore the nutrition is an important aspect in the program and we will teach the patients to prepare a multivitamin diet. Care, support and positive living are some important issues to which we shall pay attention to. The medical professional staff will be a big support for the people, but even as much as important are the “activists”. These activists are people who have the experience to live with HIV/AIDS. No one else will better be able to understand the feeling of the patients, to share the experience or to give positive energy when someone doesn’t know how to go on in life. The activists are a very important group of staff members who will make Mtendere Dream Centre such a successful program. In august 2007 we started with clearing the spot for the new centre and the construction of the new building. The Construction is now in progress
Furthermore Starting with an ART centre will bring a lot of other problems in the villages and families to the surface. Home Based Care and Orphan programs and family care are subjects which will need a lot of attention in the future. The service doesn’t stop after providing treatment, but will help as well the most vulnerable people at home or the ones who are indirectly infected. The patients in the DREAM program won’t be treated for a couple of months or years. We will support them as friends and family for life. On our way Even though we are still searching for extra support, financially or in any other way, we have made the start officially. Without any major problems we are expecting to open the new centre within in the beginning of 2008. Mtendere Health Centre is a place with possibilities to strengthen the area by given health support. Tijn Hesselink Volunteer Mtendere Health Centre