Palliative care is an essential component of a comprehensive package of care for people living with HIV/AIDS because of the variety of symptoms they can experience – such as pain, diarrhoea, cough, shortness of breath, nausea, weakness, fatigue, fever, and confusion. Founded in 1989 by Sister Noreen Nolan of the Little Company of Mary (LCM) Sisters, Mashambanzou Care Trust (MCT) based in Harare, is the only institution offering palliative care for patients with advanced HIV disease. The organization focuses mainly on HIV and AIDS management through the Family Centred Support (FCS) model where people living with HIV are admitted in order to treat the complicated opportunistic infections, and at the same time offer the patient’s family psychosocial and material support, to strengthen the family unit as a support system for the patient. In line with the SDG 3, (target 3.3) Mashambanzou is contributing towards ending AIDS by 2030, through awareness raising on HIV prevention, HIV testing, ensuring that people living with HIV are on Antiretroviral therapy and adhere to therapy to be virally suppressed. The organization is also focusing on eliminating the social determinant of HIV disease such as poverty through gender norms transformation programming, child protection, Orphan and Vulnerable Children (OVC) support, educational support, and economic strengthening.
As the only institution offering palliative care services for patients with Advanced HIV disease, Mashambanzou partnered with Beit Trust Foundation to build a state-of-the-Art building as an extension to the female ward. This will see more clients getting admitted and receiving quality health care. This report therefore details the developments made up to the completion of the extension wing of the female ward.
Despite the advent of Antiretroviral therapy, many patients form poor and vulnerable populations, still present with advanced HIV disease. Key issue of concern is poverty which reduces their compliance to medication, where the majority state hunger as a major determinant of defaulting treatment as it is difficult to continue taking medications on an empty stomach. As such, malnutrition greatly lowers their immunity, predisposing them to a lot of complex opportunistic infections. Being aware of such challenges, Mashambanzou Care Trust admits such patient for intensive nutritional support, and treatment of opportunistic infections. With the poverty gap widening, more patients continue to walk into the Mashambanzou Care Unit for palliative care, and issues of bed capacity had been a limiting factor for admissions.
With the support from the Beit trust, the female ward extension has come to completion. The Beit Trust on the 10th of July 2020 approved the grant of £7,700 to co-fund for the extension of the female care ward, whose estimated cost of construction was USD$13000. The initial grant amounting to $5,156.40 (£4,000) was received on the 13th of October 2020, and together with funding from Mashambanzou Care Trust, the construction of the female ward extension then commenced. The second grant was received was £3 700 and the total translated to USD $ 10,213.16.
ACTIVITIES CARRIED OUT
The construction work, involved the engagement of a constructor, getting clearance and approval from the Harare City Council and procurement of the necessary building material, to raise the structure from the foundation to the completion of the superstructure
Below are the images of the progress.
Mashambanzou Care Trust applauds the successful partnership with Beit Trust which has made it possible to complete the extension of the female ward, making available more beds and ablution facilities for the admitted clients. The state of Art building is not only beautiful, but it is also therapeutic as the radiance it generates creates a conducive environment for a quick recovery. It is our hope that more of such joint ventures will be lined up in the near future, to enable Mashambanzou Care Trust to deliver Quality palliative care services to people living with HIV in Zimbabwe.