Project #47 | Pediatric HIV Treatment in Togo
Our partnership with Hope Through Health
HIV/AIDS has had a devastating impact on children in Togo. UNAIDS estimates that over 19,000 children are already living with HIV and that it has orphaned more than 89,000. Tragically, children living with HIV/AIDS in Togo who cannot access treatment services would have faced certain death. The availability of effective treatment offers children the hope for longer, more productive lives.
Our partnership with Hope Through Health enabled them to operate the Pediatric HIV Treatment Program to provide these lifesaving services to children living with HIV. The program had three main goals: to test children early, ensure adherence to lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, and provide wraparound services to improve survival rates for children living with HIV.
Meet Ruth Begbessou
She is 12 years old and in 4th grade. The reasons for her delay in schooling are related to her difficult history. After her father abandoned their family and her mother passed away, Ruth and her sisters were sent to live with relatives in neighboring Ghana in 2007. Ruth’s family lived in a remote, isolated village in Ghana, without access to a health center. As a result Ruth stopped taking her lifesaving ART. In an effort to bring Ruth closer to essential health care services, our partner Hope Through Health worked with the family to find a safe and supportive living situation for Ruth in Kara, Togo. Ruth was eventually taken in by a woman named Rose, also a patient and Community Health Worker of Hope Through Health. Under Rose’s care she rejoined school and began taking her ART again. In January of 2008, Ruth’s CD4 count was just 12. A normal CD4 count for a child of her age at the time would have been greater than 800. Ruth had struggled with poor compliance to ART. She disliked taking the medication because of its uncomfortable side effects, including nauseous and dizziness. In an effort to minimize these side effects, Ruth receives a nutrition kit from Hope Through Health. Today, Ruth’s CD4 count is 801 and she rarely comes into the clinic for treatment of opportunistic infections. The combination of nutrition support and good adherence to ART ensures the health of children like Ruth.
Thank you for making this possible!
Our movement is grassroots, to us that not only means the work on the ground is led by local leaders with the support of the community, but it also means that we raise the funds for our projects through everyday donors just like you. In addition to all the donors that gave $25, $100, or $250 and the campaigners that ran a race or donated their birthday to raise funds, we also want to thank our generous business, school, and faith sponsors who believed in our work and joined the movement.
If you want to support future projects like this you can make a donation to our children’s health fund.