Maua Methodis Hospital established AIDS Orphans Program in 2001 as a community based response to the increasing number of orphans, as a result of AIDS related deaths. The program has enrolled 1,600 orphans to the empowerment program whose ages vary from 2 years to 19 years. The program supports children under the care of the extended family members in the community who have been orphaned by AIDS; this involves offering them necessary skills, information, education, training on how to cope with psychological effects and the social effects of losing their parents and counseling them to reduce the risk of HIV infection.
The project meets the needs of so many orphans in the surrounding areas of the Hospital. Many of these orphans are cared for by the old grandmothers who are not well equipped to care for their basic needs. The district is badly hit by the scourge with a prevalence rate of between 12 to 15 %, this is way above the national prevalence rate of 5.9%. Many of these orphans face stigma and discrimination within the family, community and even the churches, which makes their lives difficult and unbearable. Maua Methodist Hospital AIDS Orphans Project tries to contribute and initiate community sustainable programs to improve their living conditions.
Hospital AIDS Orphans Project has widened the scope of services being provided to the orphans, guardians and the vulnerable children to include:
- Enrollment of AIDS orphans in the catchments’s area existing project and offer for the support as the help is made available.
- Integrate the orphans in the local schools and offering psychosocial support
- To provide food supplement and food relief to the orphans and guardians (care takers)
- Enhance community awareness on the plight and legal rights of the children orphaned by AIDS
- Actively educate the guardians on care, child rights and human rights for children living with AIDS
- Improve the household livelihood for the families living with orphans through initiation of income generating activities
- To provide emergency food relief for the aids orphans and the care takers
- To provide limited subsidized outpatient treatment for the desperate orphans and other children in difficult circumstances, at Maua Methodist Hospital.
- To support the orphan to acquire basic primary education and limited secondary education for the bright children, supply them with school uniforms, and small school levies.