Tuesday, October 06, 2009

CHIPS program

The Children’s HIV Intervention Program Swaziland is growing! We have approximately 150 to 200 patients on the program now. This includes children and caregivers. There are also many challenges with this program. Many of the adult patients that we have enrolled on the program have advanced disease, and many times it is too late for the ARV’s to be effective. We need to start doing more education in the communities to promote early diagnosis. Another challenge is to decide when a patient is dying, is it better to leave them at home with their family, or admit them to the hospital, where the care is sub-standard to die alone? Also, how much responsibility should we take, as far as paying for hospital admits, expenses surrounding death, such as casket, morgue fees, funeral, transport for family members, etc. This gets very expensive, and we need to manage what God has given us for this program appropriately.
We are now beginning year 2 of the CHIPS program, and we are ready to hire a second person so we can further expand. Jabulani has done an excellent job running the program. He is a patient advocate in many ways. When there is an issue with a patient or with the system, he isn’t afraid to go to the top to get the issue resolved. He contacted the TB Coordinator for the region, when he didn’t get the solution needed for the care of our patients. He helps at the hospital with counseling in the HIV clinic, which helps move our patients through faster, and also builds alliances in the system. The staff know they can count on Jabulani to pitch in and help them, so they are willing to help with our patients as well.
We have begun interviewing for the second position. Please pray for wisdom for us as we interview and choose our 2nd counselor for CHIPS. We want the person that God wants for us.
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