The Power of One: Expanding Home-Based Care in Tanzania

Develini, a home-based care provider, is proud of her 125 clients. She knows what a difference treatment and support can make because she, too, is living with HIV.

Develini uses her personal experience and the training she received from Pathfinder to help Mohamedi and Doto. Here, she delivers integrated services—HIV care and family planning—in their home.

The couple’s health has improved since beginning anti-retroviral therapy. They are feeling better and, thanks to testing through the project, they know that their children are “free from HIV.”

Still, poverty weighs on them, and Doto does not want to have any more children. So, in addition to providing HIV and AIDS services, Develini counsels the couple on family planning.

As Develini says, “For all who have lost hope, they should know they can work, and be active as normal people. I am happy and ready to assist anyone like me, to encourage them that an HIV-positive diagnosis is not the end. There is more life.”

Develini might be the most powerful woman in Ukonga. Twelve years ago, she was so ill she could not walk. Now she treks across her community, on the outskirts of Dar es Saalam, Tanzania, bending beneath crumbling doorframes to reach her neighbors.

They call her “the village doctor,” a title that speaks to her importance, though it is not entirely correct. Develini is a volunteer. Pathfinder trained her to visit her neighbors in their homes, educating them about importance of HIV testing and prevention, including how to protect their children from the virus. At the same time, she counsels women on family planning and distributes contraceptives. Develini knows how important it is to receive these services in one location. She understands her clients need privacy and want support because she, too, is a survivor.

For the past 20 years, Pathfinder has been at the forefront of the response to HIV and AIDS because our projects across the globe all stem from a simple idea: that the people you know best are the ones who can encourage you to change your life.

With one hand, Develini removes her glasses. With the other, she wipes her tears quickly before anyone can see them. “In 2000, the clinic told me I was HIV positive,” Develini said. At that time, anti-retroviral therapy (ART) was not subsidized for the public in Tanzania, so there was no treatment available to her. “They told me ‘you could die at any time’ and ‘to sell everything I own.” Develini was shocked. Despite her weight loss and failing health, she thought she was safe. She trusted her husband when he said he did not have HIV.

But the truth is Develini’s husband knew he was HIV positive even before they got married. “He knew his status and was taking medicine every day, but I didn’t know what they were,” she said. “When I asked him about the pills, he lied.” He invented an ailment. Perhaps most painful—“I even took the initiative to remind him to take the medicine,” Develini admits, “without knowing they were ART.”

When Develini finally learned the truth—that she is HIV positive—her husband left. She has not seen him since. She had to rely on her parents and doctors to save her life. And with treatment, her health dramatically improved. It is a debt she repays every day as a home-based care provider.

“For all who have lost hope, they should know they can work, and be active as normal people. I am happy and ready to assist anyone like me, to encourage them that an HIV-positive diagnosis is not the end. There is more life.”

Develini shares this message with her 125 clients, including Mohamedi and Doto.

TO BE FREE: One Family’s Story

In 2009, no longer afraid of the repercussions, Mohamedi decided to disclose his HIV-positive status to his wife. “I had to tell Doto,” he said. “Otherwise, she would have lost her life. It is important.”

Mohamedi had begun anti-retroviral therapy, and his health was improving. So whatever the fallout, however angry she might become, he believed that at least he could make her healthy by getting her treatment. What he did not expect was that, after hearing his news, Doto would not even get tested.

“She kept saying, ‘tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow,” Mohamedi said. He glances at his wife, for her assurance to go on. “Doto was afraid of seeing people at the clinic, of their eyes.”

Mohamedi sought help from the one person who had openly discussed their HIV status, who was known to everyone—Develini. Develini arranged for Doto to get tested in her home. When she arrived, she was greeted by 10 other family members, all wanting to find out their status, too. 

That day, Doto privately learned she was infected with HIV, as did four other relatives. Perhaps most critically, Doto and Mohamedi confirmed that their three children “are free from HIV.”

The couple wants to keep it that way; they want to get healthy and avoid pregnancy. So, along with anti-retroviral therapy, Doto uses contraception. She receives pills from Develini, who provides family planning in the privacy and convenience of her client’s homes and is never far away. Even now, as her clients bravely tell their story, Develini sits beside them, beaming from behind her glasses, giving them strength.
 
“I am not the type to share a lot of things. Having Develini is so important. I need her,” Doto says, looking at her friend. “After all, she is just like me.”

THINK OF DEVELINI’S IMPACT. NOW MULTIPLY IT BY 1,250

Develini is just one of 1,250 home-based care providers for the Tutunzane project (meaning "Let's take care of one another" in Kiswahili). Led by Pathfinder, the project relies on the talent of local individuals to stop the AIDS epidemic where it starts, one person at a time. And they are succeeding.

In 2011 alone, the project supported 44,000 clients by reaching people in their homes. This means that the person-to-person approach has been so effective that it has grown to support communities across five regions of Tanzania. It is what sets Pathfinder apart.

For the past 20 years, Pathfinder has been at the forefront of the response to HIV and AIDS because our projects across the globe all stem from a simple idea: that the people you know best are the ones who can encourage you to change your life.

Country: Tanzania
Focus Area: HIV & AIDS

Alden Nouga

Alden Nouga is Pathfinder International's Director of Institutional Giving.

Leave a Comment

* Change

Comments

A droplet of the blister fluid and prepare it as a specimen for yourself. low obl backlinks
jams123 November 26, 2014
garcinia cambogia free trial offer This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something like this.. dr oz and garcinia cambogia
JOHN November 25, 2014
hidradenitis suppurativa Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, ShrinkYourDebt.co.uk lots of great information and inspiration, both of which I need, thanks to offer such a helpful information here. where to buy garcinia cambogia extract
JOHN November 25, 2014
It was worth visiting your blog and I have bookmarked your blog.What Is Apple Pay? Hope to visit again
What Is Apple Pay? November 25, 2014
It enables charter companies to distribute their charter fleets to charter agencies all over the world. seo service in cheap
jams123 November 25, 2014
http://ge.tt/30KeNpr1/v/0 Ge.tt lets you share images, documents, videos, and files with one click. Your files are available instantly with our unique real-time technology. The smallest step in file sharing. Please visit my website http://ge.tt/30KeNpr1/v/0 ...
web November 25, 2014
how to get a chest like channing tatum Adonis Golden Ratio: Kyle Leon Reveals His Ultra Clever And Scientifically Proven Method For Getting Ridiculously Ripped And Achieving Ideal Male Body Proportions Women Can't Resist... Written for consumers by a consumer, this fan site includes a fun and informative Adonis Golden Ratio review, ebook FAQ, and PDF download guide that provides an insider's look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Kyle Leon's unique and highly popular body transformation guide. Please click here our site https://www.rebelmouse.com/reviewsadonisgoldenratio/ ...
web November 25, 2014
http://www.textyourexbackmichaelfiore.com/ Use the Text Your Ex Back Michael Fiore program to learn how to get your ex back using tiny text messages sent from your cell phone. Text your ex back with confidence. Please click here our website http://textyourexbackmichaelfiore.com/ ...
web November 25, 2014
https://rebelmouse.com/ The Tao Of Badass: Joshua Pellicer Reveals His Weirdly Effective Science-Backed Attraction System That Takes You From "Loveable Loser" To Total Badass With Women In No Time Flat... Written for consumers by a consumer, this fan site includes a fun and informative Tao Of Badass review, ebook FAQ, and PDF download guide that provides an insider's look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Josh Pellicer's unique and highly popular attraction guide. Please click here my website https://www.rebelmouse.com/joshpellicertaoofbadassreview/ ...
web November 25, 2014
rebelmouse Natural Clear Vision: Kevin Richardson Reveals His Easy-To-Do-At-Home Vision Improvement System For Achieving Perfect 20/20 Eyesight Without Surgery... Written for consumers by a consumer, this fan site includes a fun and informative Natural Clear Vision review, ebook FAQ, and PDF download guide that provides an insider's look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Kevin Richardson's unique and highly popular vision guide. Please visit the website https://www.rebelmouse.com/naturalclearvision/ ...
web November 25, 2014
Thank you for posting such a great article! I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. Keep up the good work! digimaster iii
calvinbrock735 November 24, 2014
Great post i must say and thanks for the information. Education is definitely a sticky subject. However, is still among the leading topics of our time. I appreciate your post and look forward to more. Imex Technologys - Stanley Clarke Foundation
scott November 24, 2014
Thanx for a very interesting web site. Where else could I get that kind of info written in such an ideal approach? I have a undertaking that I'm just now working on, and I've been at the look out for such information. Physical Therapy Assistant
JOHN November 24, 2014
I enjoyed reading your post and found it to be informative and to the topic. Thank you for not rambling on and on just to fill the page. Thanks.. Pest Control
Ahsan November 24, 2014
Awesome blog. I enjoyed reading your articles. This is truly a great read for me. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles. Keep up the good work! berber carpet mansfield
JOHN November 23, 2014
I'm really happy to find this site and did enjoy reading useful articles posted here. The ideas of the author was awesome, thanks for the share. best proxy list
Ahsan November 23, 2014
I am preparing a research paper and collecting information on this topic. Your post is one of the better that I have read. Thank you for putting this information into one post. mehr hier
Ahsan November 23, 2014
I enjoyed reading your post and found it to be informative and to the topic. Thank you for not rambling on and on just to fill the page. Thanks.. Bulk SMS
Ahsan November 22, 2014
I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will locate that extremely useful... improve your community
Ahsan November 22, 2014
Scroll to top