Oh! May the God of great hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!
At Espwa Berlancia, we host a clinic 3 days a week to provide free HIV testing to different community members. Each day we treat specific group (pregnant women, women and children, and men).This allows the education being presented to be specific to that group's needs. Education is delivered through printed material and community based classes with the partnership of a Haitian social worker.
Through community networking we have learned that there is a lack of available quality prenatal care for expectant mothers, especially those who are HIV positive. While on ground in Haiti we have partnered with a local hospital that can provide excellent prenatal care including lab work, regular ultrasounds, and even cesarean-sections should they be necessary. Unfortunately this type of medical involvement is not easily supported by Haitian income standards. Our pregnancy program was created to partner Haitian women with foreign sponsors who, through a small monthly financial gift, provide top quality prenatal care, vitamin supplements and necessary nutrition throughout her pregnancy. This type of medical intervention will help ensure a safe pregnancy and delivery for these mothers and has shown to reduce the risk of virus transmission to their babies.
Furthermore, we are working to be able provide preventive ARV (Anti-retro viral) drugs for expectant mothers who are HIV+ as a means of dramatically decreasing the risk of passing the virus onto their children. Without any preventative treatment, the risk of an HIV+ mother passing the virus on to her baby is between 20 – 45%. With proper treatment and preventative measures that risk drops to 2%. Infants will also be treated with ARV's after delivery. In order to ensure that these fragile new lives are able to receive the medicines that they so greatly need, we are opening our doors to care for these infants during their therapy program. This will also allow us to monitor the health of the infant and mother more closely and provide education on parenting skills for first time moms. We have also extended our services to these women and their babies through a formula program, enabling them to receive proper nutrition while avoiding the risk of virus transmission through breast milk.All distribution and treatment of ARV's for mother and child is under the supervision of an experienced physician.
Having a heart for Haiti, knowledge of its culture and a love for its people, Espwa Berlancia is set to grow to have a positive impact on our surrounding community and the greater population of this incredible country.