Today I am going to share information about Dr. Samira Osman, a GO Local Hero who has changed the life outcomes for HIV infected children in Mombasa, Kenya.
Organization: Family Care Clinic (FCC)
Location: Mombasa, Kenya
Context: FCC began in 2001, as a pilot program to provide medical and support services to children living with HIV. At the time, most experts thought HIV treatment would not work for children in Africa. Today, FCC’s successful program serves as a model for pediatric HIV treatment not only in Kenya but globally.
Background: GO’s Local Hero Dr. Samira Osman is the Assistant Director of Medical Services at Coast Provincial General Hospital and the clinician-in-charge at the Family Care Clinic (FCC). Dr. Samira pursued her lifelong dream to become a doctor despite growing up in a conservative Muslim community where women are rarely seen, let alone heard. Over the last 15 years, she has led the efforts at FCC and helped them to provide 4,239 patients with quality health services.
Current Status: In September 2015, GO Campaign approved a grant for $33,362 to help FCC establish a Youth Zone: a separate center at the hospital to better address the needs of youth ages 10-24. Our funds were matched by Alicia Keys’ charity Keep A Child Alive, and the center will be up and running in a couple months. We are proud to have partnered with Keep a Child Alive and FCC to ensure that the program’s 432 HIV+ young people will now receive specialized medical care, sexual and reproductive health services, and other wrap around services to ensure their continued health and development.
At age 14, Hamida tested positive for HIV; she contracted it from her mother. She received counseling, was educated about the importance of taking her medication, and started treatment. For the first few years Hamida was a model patient. When she began missing appointments, FCC staff followed up; they learned that she had run away from home. Many months passed and then Hamida came back to the clinic. She explained that she had run away to Tanzania. After intensive counseling, Hamida restarted medical treatment and is now, at age 22, a mentor for other youth.