In 2005 antiretroviral medicine became available free of charge in Malawi for everyone infected with the AIDS virus, however children under 13 years of age were excluded.
What it is
Where the idea came from
We could not stand by and watch these innocent children suffer the painful and undignified death that is the final outcome of AIDS so began our own programme, buying the antiretroviral medicine at an annual cost of $500 per child.
We faced two challenges:-
- Many of the children were orphaned and without the support of their parents, lost to the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
- How can one ensure that children attend every month for essential ongoing clinical appraisal and prescrition of thier medicine?
We came up with a simple solution; we opened the Thandizo centre, as unlike a medical centre as humanely possible. Instead it is a playground, a sports centre, there are games, toys, even a TV. These are diversions for children that simply do not exist in Nkhotakota.
The problem is no longer persuading children to attend every month; it is persuading them to go home at the end of their day!
Since 2007 we are pleased to report that we have received the antiretroviral medicine free of charge.