Farmers’ support allows HIV-infected youth to have better nutrition

 

On December 20, 2007 representatives of Heifer Romania and the president of the Farmers’ Association in Farmers Feed the Children Project, Gheorghe Abrudan, visited the Children’s Hospital of Infectious Diseases in Cluj, Romania.

Almost weekly, beneficiary farmers in Farmers Feed the Children Project send milk, dairy products, veal and chicken to the ill, hospitalized children, passing on the gift of livestock they received to the ones in need.

The day was a Christmas celebration day. All children received presents from the hospital’s personnel and celebrated together around the Christmas tree. Some were too sick to attend the event and had to lie in their beds.

 

  

Six-year old Iulia Somes receiving her Christmas present from hospital staff

 

The hospital hosts children and youth with different infectious diseases: HIV, hepatitis, enterocolitis, respiratory infections, eruptive infections or meningitis. Sixty-six youth over 17 infected with HIV are registered with the hospital. All have been diagnosed with the disease after the fall of communism in Romania (1990) and have been infected by unsterilized hospital equipment. In times of sickness, they are offered free hospitalization for a period of 7 to 10 days, depending on the severity of symptoms, while their health is monitored at all times.

The assistance offered by Heifer and the project farmers is very valuable to the ill. One hundred hospitalized children and youth benefit daily of fresh farm produce: milk, dairy products, veal and chicken. It is well-known that HIV-infected people and all affected by infectious diseases need a rich, healthy diet, and that is exactly what the farmers’ support does: helps the ones in most need get stronger and have better chances of fighting the illnesses away.

 

 

 
Three-year old Mark Feherbary tries to smile to Heifer staff

 
Heifer is not the only one who supports the ill youth. On World AIDS Day, December 1, 2007, the Medicine Students’ Association in Cluj has raised funds for nine television sets, which will be installed in the rooms of HIV-infected youth.

Together with the fresh farm food they receive, we are hoping their stay in the hospital will be a little easier to take.

Anca Oprita
Communication and PR Coordinator
Heifer Romania
January 14, 2008

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