Stakeholders meet in Canada to examine delivering for women's and children's health

20-22 NOVEMBER 2011 | OTTAWA – More than 100 policymakers, donors, technical advisors, academics and advocates from around the world gathered in Ottawa for a two-day meeting to advance the implementation of the workplan of the Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health. Outcomes from the meeting included the development of a high-level action plan to take forward key components of the Commission’s recommendations, including acceleration of work on vital registration systems, resource-tracking, and global monitoring of progress.

Outcomes from the meeting included the development of a high-level action plan to take forward key components of the Commission’s recommendations, including acceleration of work on vital registration systems, resource-tracking, and global monitoring of progress. PMNCH will play a key role in this joint plan, leading on advocacy for the Commission recommendations in partnership with regional and national stakeholders, and contributing to the accountability work of the independent Expert Review Group (ERG). Continue reading

School Based Quiz Competition Raises HIV Awareness and Positive Living Among Children in Zimbabwe

Rozaria Memorial Trust (the Trust) joined hands with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health in Murewa District in implementing a special project for supporting HIV prevention and positive living among children of school going age. This innovative projects includes an annual inter-school quiz competition among 5 primary schools in Ward 8 of the District, a pilot project which had potential for replication and scaling up within the district and beyond.

The project started when the Trust started to see a growing number of children living with HIV, reaching out for information, access to treatment, education and psychosocial support. While the Trust provided fees subsidy through a grant from AJWS, and access o treatment support from individual donations sourced through Global Giving Foundation; it became evident that the children needed to play a central role in the prevention campaign, supporting other children living with HIV as well as having the critical knowledge on HIV and AIDS. The work with SAFAIDS enabled the Trust and the community to invest in literacy training about HIV treatment for children with a strong focus on understanding what ART, ARVs and adherence issues. Continue reading

Young and Positive:Mufaro Keeps Hope Alive Amidst Adversity

When you meet young Mufaro* your heart naturally reaches out. The 19 year of young man was born with HIV and all his parents died when he was a young boy. Life has just been a struggle for Mufaro, who has tried three times to commit suicide. What the purpose of life, he asks and yet one can almost touch his quest for happiness. Mufaro was referred to Rozaria Memorial Trust by Murewa District Hospital when they discovered that he needed a more supportive social environment, It was just not enough that he was on treatment.

His grand parents, aging and poor continues to give all they can for this young man, but its just really hard with all the poverty and needing care themselves. He has lived with one family and another. A neighbour with goodwill paid his school fees for secondary education and he passed his O’levels. He, like many other young people in Zimbabwe is unemployed and has very limited options for getting a livelihood.

Mufaro, is from Zaranyika village in Ward 5, Murewa. He joined 20 other children and young people last week to participate in a Digital Storytelling project supported by SAFAIDS and AJWS. Lilian Chikara, a senior officer with SAFAIDS and Colleta Zinyama of RMT led the capacity building. It requires a big heart to listen to the painful stories of these children. The all have such hope in the midst of adversity.

RMT plans to strengthen its bridging internship programme for young people living with HIV. This is a programme that gives skills, exposure and opportunities to young rural children who have finished secondary school and are in transition. Its young people like Mufaro who stand up and encourage other children to be hopeful that also gives the Trust its energy. Mufaro will be joining the Trust as a community peer educator for other children.

We invite you to join us as we together seek to give options and possibilities to our children.

* name changed to protect identity of the young man.