Mavambo Orphan Care invests in efforts to improve health of vulnerable children. The Trust supports government programs to improve the quality, availability and use of high impact health services in hard-to-reach and impoverished communities. Health assistance is offered through the following ways:
- Medical Assistance: Transport assistance is provided to beneficiaries undergoing CD4 count, collection of medical results, undergoing further assessments at referral institutions and to buy medication.
- Multi Stakeholder Assessments: The high unemployment rates and the HIV and AIDS scourge have affected children. Clinic user fees being charged at US$7-10.00 per child are beyond the reach of many households. Children are thereby denied their right to health care services. Multi Stakeholder Assessment (MSA) fosters equal opportunities for children to access basic health care services. Children are examined ‘head to toe’ by qualified Health Care Workers (HCWs) in primary schools in Goromonzi, Mudzi and Harare Eastern Districts. Children found to have medical ailments are referred for further medical examination and treatment at their nearest health care facility. Children with referral slips access medical treatment paid for by Mavambo Orphan Care.
- HIV/AIDS information dissemination: The baseline study flagged trauma and economic hardships as having greatest effects children affected or infected with HIV. Mavambo Orphan Care programmes are designed to offer comprehensive assistance to these OVC. Programs aim to improve the nutrition levels of households, providing care for the sick, raising awareness on HIV and AIDS through information dissemination. Mavambo Orphan Care offers Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials aiming to reduce the impact of HIV and AIDS. The organisation promotes safe practices and assist families to access counselling, food, healthcare and education services.
- Behaviour Change (BC) with Adolescents: BC strategy contributed to a drop in HIV prevalence rate in Zimbabwe from 15.3% in 2008 to 14.4% in 2012. Mavambo Orphan Care partners stakeholders in the community to support and facilitate workshops on BC activities that are conducted for adolescents in secondary schools. The major thrust of the workshops is to promote change of attitude, change of character and promote good behavioural traits. Visual aids for example flyers and posters are used in participatory workshops. Situations surrounding urban and rural children sharply contrast hence the participatory/open discussion approach. Peer pressure is common among adolescents. Involving them in dealing with issues that affect them has proven to be effective. The Adolescents are encouraged to form support groups to discuss issues of common cause and psychosocially assist one another. Adolescents learn through identification with their peers and role models and these should be used to instil good moral behaviour among adolescents.
- Peer Educators Initiative: Peer interaction is an effective method in bringing about desired result. Peer Educators Clubs exist in Mabvuku and Tafara. Similar Clubs were initiated in nineteen schools in Goromonzi. Twenty children per school were identified by school authorities and introduced to peer education. Peer Education engross all aspects of life that need awareness such as good hygiene, value of education, child abuse, HIV and AIDS, communicable and non-communicable diseases. Peer Educators pass on their knowledge during sessions at schools and in the community.
- Scaling up of Paediatric ART: Mavambo Orphan Care, through support from World Education Bantwana Initiative (WEI), is supporting Ministry of Health and Child Care in three districts, Harare Eastern, Goromonzi and Mudzi districts, to increase the number of children that access HIV Counselling and Testing Services. The support targets children aged 0-19 years. The organisation partners MoHCC to sensitise community leadership and support on identification of exposed children in the communities. Capacity building of community volunteers is done to ensure that there is a wider reach of these children. Male involvement is encouraged through supporting trainings for male champions who act as role models to support prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV (PMTCT) programme. Supporting the mentioned districts to carryout various activities related to testing and commencing children on ART. The health facilities are also encouraged to establish PMTCT mothers’ support groups to ensure retention of these mothers into treatment and care, child play groups to ensure cognitive development through stimulation and support group formation for psychosocial support.
- ASRH Through sport: This Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health (ASRH) through sport was developed as a tool to complement and reinforce the Government of Zimbabwe’s efforts through the Ministry of Health and Child Care, the Ministry of Primary and Secondary and the Ministry of Education, Sport, Arts and Culture in the delivery of Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health services to youth in and out of schools. ASRH messages are given through sports. Sports represent a non-threatening environment whose principles the youth will readily understand, hence the manual takes these sporting principles and translates them to ordinary life and then into lessons on aspects of sexual and reproductive health. This ASRH through Sports will contribute to coming up with a generation of young people who know and have skills on how to safeguard their sexual reproductive health, make informed and responsible choices as well as practical steps to protect their SRH rights, including building and maintaining positive and safe relationships. . One outcome will be a generation of youth who know the practical steps to protect themselves and others from STIs including HIV and AIDS. Mavambo Orphan Care trained the coaches who in turn are now coaching the youths in the communities of Chitungwiza, Goromonzi, Epworth, Mabvuku/Tafara and Stoneridge .Sessions are held weekly. ASRH through Auntie Stella sessions are an interactive reproductive health pack which cover a wide range of personal and social issues that affect young people’s lives, sexual health and relationships.
- Support groups: Mavambo Orphan Care supports the support groups for adolescents on ART from the different clinics, they also provide edutainment and PSS to the children.