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.”


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 Senior Advisor for HIV and AIDS.

Leave a Comment

* Change


so you can rebuild the strong, intimate marriage you've always wanted. Fore more iPhone news
jams123 September 2, 2014
Very clean and wonderful user friendly style and design, as well as the content. You're an expert in this topic. seo in barcelona
jams123 September 2, 2014
Your fellow occupants of Kansas Location began when using the industry-leading Sundek pool area deck shell products all around 40 in the past. Whether that you are building the latest pool in addition to want some sort of cooler in comparison with concrete, non-slip exterior or remodeling an active pool to help freshen this image, the Sundek Typical Texture Overlay System is a wonderful solution. Stamped Overlays
Stamped Overlays September 2, 2014
I'm definitely caring your theme/design of one's Arvixe Coupon web site. Do you run into almost any internet browser compatibility issues? Several of my own blog followers include complained concerning my own internet site no longer working effectively in Explorer yet seems to be wonderful in Chrome. Arvixe Coupon
Arvixe Coupon September 2, 2014
I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. cloth wipes
jams123 September 1, 2014
Thank you for this amazing and awesom post and article , i really liked your font and the context of this psot was just really helpful.... read more here
Name September 1, 2014 has been providing English classes from many years.Do you want to Lean public Speaking online or how to speak British English? Contact us Now.
Lean public Speaking online September 1, 2014
The select time i discovered this World Wide Web website i was proper truant astounded since this is without a doubt brilliant Garden fencing London webpage. I trust you can distribute advantageous posts or weblog posts yet once more. It is extremely advantageous skill. Numerous much obliged concerning imparting. garden fencing London
garden fencing London September 1, 2014
promote website or anything to 22 Million facebook and 5000 twitter followers>>> facebook promotion
jagoseo August 30, 2014
HIV is often a disease that's spreading rapidly in many countries. For that reason, the therapeutic process would have to be undertaken from the researcher. Portland Document Scanning Services
KathlineDailey August 30, 2014
Your article had provided me with another point of view on this topic. I had no thought that things may work on this method as well. Thank you for sharing your opinion. obat herbal hiv aids
obat herbal hiv aids August 29, 2014
In a university thesis for research I need to search sites with relevant information on given topic and provide them to teacher our opinion and the article. Your blog helped me a lot.
grosiramazonplus August 29, 2014 Tinnitus Remedy: Ian McCall Reveals His Weirdly Effective, 3-Step Formula For Safely, Naturally, And Permanently Getting Rid Of Tinnitus In As Little As 10 Days... Written for consumers by a consumer, this fan site includes a fun and informative Tinnitus Remedy review, ebook FAQ, and PDF download guide that provides an insider's look at the program and answers frequently asked questions about Ian McCall's unique and highly popular tinnitus treatment guide. Please click here site ...

save my marriage today by amy waterman Save My Marriage Today Ebook: How To Bring The Spark Back To A Marriage That Seems Lifeless, Hopeless, And On The Verge Of Divorce. This site is a leading resource for information about the Amy Waterman Save My Marriage Today PDF book and relationship savior system that teaches you effective techniques for cutting through pain and resentment so you can rebuild the strong, intimate marriage you've always wanted. Fore more info, visit site ...

Link building service Link building guru is an affordable link building service. Contact us or visit our website for more information. Please visit site ...

Hong Kong company formation PROFESSIONAL HONG KONG COMPANY FORMATION SERVICES. VISIT US TODAY ! For more info, visit my website URL ...

blog Fascinating post . Thanks
website August 29, 2014
Everyone already knew HIV may very well be spread in lots of ways. You had better find a lot of the right kind of information to this particular disease. recommended Reverse Mortgage Denver CO
PhilipAshford August 29, 2014
The team at Disability Insurance Lawyers enjoys reading your posts. If anyone you know needs disability insurance help please send them our way. We like to work with like minded people. Clearly you are intelligent and care about the quality of your work, we respect that. We have the same approach when it comes to being disability attorneys. Let's face it long term disability is not something people should have to deal with on their own. We are New York based disability lawyers and we stand up for disabled patients when no one else will. Regardless of your needs we can help with bad faith insurance needs, class action lawsuits, erisa Long term Disability insurance Attorney, and so much more. Fill out our free claim evaluation form here. As far as your writing goes it's well crafted and like I stated earlier we've enjoyed reading your post and we will continue to read them. We will also make sure to share your site with those that we know will be interested in the topics you write about. Have a great day!
Long term Disability insurance Attorney August 29, 2014
Open Multiple URL in a one click! Its Free>> website:
jagoseo August 29, 2014
The distribute of HIV has continued to improve over period. You may use one of the most recent research to deal with them. I like this site :: Puerto Galera Resort
JanaeWeems August 29, 2014
Thanks for taking the time to post such valuable information. Quality content is what always gets the visitors coming. Accountant CPA
jams123 August 29, 2014
Open all urls in a one click check this out>> url opener
j August 28, 2014
Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn't matter to me. Going to bed at night saying we've done something wonderful, that's what matters to me. Binary Options Signals Reviews
Binary Options Signals Reviews August 28, 2014
Scroll to top