Mashambanzou Care Trust (MCT) is a registered Private Voluntary Organization (PVO) (WO9/90), based in Harare. The organization was founded in 1989 by Sister Noreen Nolan of the Little Company of Mary (LCM) Sisters, in response to the HIV pandemic amongst the poor communities. The focus was mainly on the dissemination of accurate information, care and support for people living with HIV (PLHIV) and prevention of the further spread of HIV. Home Based Care (HBC), Palliative Care and HIV prevention awareness campaigns were among some of the interventions carried out. At the time neglect, stigma and discrimination was very rife and high, knowledge on HIV and AIDS management was little. Hospitals were overwhelmed with critically ill patients who were then discharged home on Home Based Care to people who did not have the knowhow of managing the situation at home. Deaths rates were so high especially within the poor communities who could not afford quality and specialized care hence this motivated MCT to address these challenges.
Experience has however, shown that success in fighting any pandemic disease need to have a much broader focus that recognizes that life is an integration of various components, sometimes all acting together. Mashambanzou has therefore evolved to focus on the family and society as a means of mitigating the effects of the disease and innovatively created a Family Centred Support (FCS) model. The FCS model looks at the patient with a holistic approach of where and whom do they live with, i.e. we can only successfully treat a patient if the environment they are coming from and discharged to is a conducive environment that promotes a peaceful state of mind. The organisation also focuses on an integrated service delivery approach to alleviating challenges faced by communities thus leaving no one behind. MCT is very conscious in alignment and seamless fusion of its implementation methodologies to national, regional and international strategies in HIV/AIDS programming, child protection, SRH, GBV programming etc.
The organisation focuses mainly on HIV/AIDS response that offer care to PLHIV especially those in the later stages of the disease through the Mashambanzou Care Unit and its Family Centred Support (FCS) outreach teams. The organisation also recognises the approach of prevention as treatment to the pandemic of HIV thus, MCT is focusing on raising awareness on HIV/AIDS at all levels, raising awareness on co-infection of TB and HIV, raising awareness and promoting positive health seeking behaviour. The organisation is also realising other factors that act as enablers for the pandemic to continue expanding, thus MCT is therefore programming gender norms transformation and economic strengthening in the implementing communities. Through the mantra of leaving no one behind, MCT has also focused programming on key populations and these include Sex Workers, adolescent girls and boys, teen mothers and women amongst others. MCT further realises the need to build a stronger generation for tomorrow as a way of sustainably creating resilient communities and thus implementation of educational assistance projects to help alleviate poverty and afford an opportunity to quality education amongst OVCs who are affected and infected by HIV and AIDS.
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