Home-based care workers at Ranchod Hospice in Zambia (Photo by Liz Marshall)

Home-Based Health Care

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to 68% of all people living with HIV worldwide, but has just 3% of the global health workforce. In fact, in 10 of the 15 countries where we work, there is only one doctor for every 10,000 people. Where national health systems fail to reach, grassroots organizations are filling the gaps and consistently serving their communities.

That’s where home-based care comes in. Home-based care workers – overwhelmingly women, mostly volunteers, many HIV-positive themselves – are visiting countless homes each day, travelling great distances, most often on foot or by bicycle. They dispense drugs, food and provide counselling. They bathe their clients and carry out household chores. They talk with the children to ensure that their needs are being met, and identify families that are struggling and need more support. They provide palliative care for those in the last stages of AIDS. Above all, they provide a vital service and deliver healing, health and hope to the individuals and families in their care.

Increasingly, the organizations created by, and for, home-based care workers are moving to provide stipends, training and support, and helping to facilitate the creation of regional networks of community health care workers that allow for meaningful exchanges of information among the projects.

To find out more about the resourceful and effective community-based home care initiatives we fund, please visit the Where We Work section.

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