This morning started out at Baylor’s pediatric HIV clinic where we delivered 200lb of medical supplies donated by Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach. Baylor will disseminate these much needed supplies to the rural satellite clinics for pediatric use in the villages. Then we received a tour of Baylor where we learned good news and bad.
Good news: 20 Swazi children will be piloting a 3rd line of ARV drugs to fight HIV. This drug will only be available at Baylor to children under the age of 19 and only to the first 20 children for now as it is being funded by a nonprofit organization. Currently the country only has 2 available HIV drugs; used in the US in the late 80s/90s but no longer in use anymore. Once the children develop resistance to those two lines of drugs, they go into hospice care. Now, with the new line of drugs, the children’s life expectancies will rise!
Bad news: My doctor friend and TB specialist took a look at Sanele’s chest scan and said that the damage to his lungs is severe and irreversible. His MDR (multiple drug resistant) strain of TB is aggressive and his condition is getting worse. If he survives (less than a 60% chance), he will have a chronic cough and difficulty breathing. Prayers for Sanele…
We then went to Malindza so the volunteers could see our New Hope school for orphans. We handed out backpacks (Thanks St Mark’s Preschool of St Charles IL and Kelly Todt!), embroidered t-shirts (Thanks 4imprint.com), school supplies and wall hanging quilts (Thanks Jackie Pickett and class!), and toothpaste and toothbrushes – enough for their entire families (Thanks Sube!!). Some of the children didn’t even know what the toothpaste was – which isn’t surprising considering their rotten teeth. Our doctor friend said that HIV positive children can actually die from an oral hygiene induced gum infection, so we are trying to help the children maintain proper oral health.
We delivered emergency food packs (rice, beans, soup mix, peanut butter, candles, matches, soap, peanuts, cooking oil, canned fish, and canned baked beans) to six different granny-headed homesteads (Thanks Mitali/FOODOM!). The last homestead had at least 15 orphans with only two grannies and four 4m x 4m structures. I tried to imagine how all of them fit laying down – seemingly impossible!…and I tried not to imagine how fast the food we delivered was going to go with that many mouths to feed.
Tomorrow morning is our mobile clinic in Malindza. The pharmacy had to special order our drugs as we needed quantities in the thousands. We are everyone’s best customer around here… Thanks for all of the support back home for making everything possible!! www.ifightpoverty.org