Zimbabwe is one of the countries in Southern Africa that has been worst affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic. The first case of HIV infection was established in 1985 and ten years later (1995) the national prevalence rate was 25% (in some localities it was 33%). Although this rate reduced to 18% by 2007 (thanks to successful interventions), the impact of HIV infection remains very high. Many adults continue to leave children orphaned. The school drop out rate for orphaned children is very high. A lot of people that need ARVs cannot access them because they are unaffordable and government institutions are limiting admission of new cases. The harsh economic conditions have resulted in a serious brain drain that has left most hospitals without a doctor. As a result a lot of sick people are at homes, under the care of untrained relatives and children. A program like ours is necessary to alleviate pain and suffering among people and restore hope because of Christ.
Any given night at 3 am, Brenda (Zimbabwe Home-Based Care Team Leader) receives a call from someone in need in the Mutare area. She may need to bandage a wound, set-up an IV or simply help someone bathe. She and her trained volunteers in 4 districts throughout Zimbabwe are known for their knowledge of healthy living and their confidence in supporting local people living with AIDS. The Mutare based Home-Based Care program establishes teams in churches throughout the region to care for and teach communities how to care for one another. They encourage their neighbors to be tested for HIV, help them find accessible treatment and share good practices with those on ARV treatment. Each team member assists families with food supplements, school fees, herbal remedies for common side effects and training for proper hygiene for caring for someone with AIDS.