Above is a photo from the opening celebrations of Omoana House. For more images from this event click here.
“Omoana House” or “Omoana (Child) Rehabilitation Centre” is a place where very ill HIV positive children are provided with treatment and afterwards taken back to their original families after their health has stabilized. This project is funded by generous donations from St. Francis’ friends in Switzerland. In this rehabilitation centre we are focusing on children who are HIV positive and are on Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ARV). Most of these children are and living with destitute caretakers; most frequently their grandmothers. The children whose immunity has been compromised by HIV/AIDS are admitted at Omoana House for comprehensive care which is comprised of ART, nutritional support and psychosocial support. Those that are eligible for school are enrolled in the near by school so as to not interrupt their schooling. Every weekend the children are taken home to be with there care takers and are picked on Sunday evening. By doing so, we are trying to avoid detachment of the children from their families. When the child’s health is restored he/she is rejoined with the family. Our capacity at the moment is 25 children.
Our analysis on drug adherence among the children who live with destitute
guardians indicate a big need for good drug adherence controls, which can only be done with close monitoring of these children. Unfortunately, the number of children who need close drug adherence follow-ups is beyond the capacity of Omoana House. As a new initiative to ensure that every child is closely followed up, even those outside the rehabilitation centre, our medical team has started up follow-up clinics that are run twice a week (Tuesday and Thursday) at our centre. During these clinics, children are given adherence counseling, drug refills and other psychosocial support services. Through this initiative we envisage good drug adherence and hence good health of the children we serve.