The Swaziland Homeopathy Project started in 2008 by providing homeopathy to women and children in rural areas but is now providing this support to over 6,000 patients across Swaziland. Access to health care can be a real challenge in Swaziland. There are financial and logistical issues that mean not everybody receives the healthcare that they need or deserve. The vision of the Swaziland Homopathic Project is to establish a permanent, affordable, integrated, holistic health service for women, men and children in all regions of Swaziland regardless of their HIV status and therefore improve the life expectancy of the people of Swaziland.
The statistics for HIV/AIDS in Swaziland are improving but it is still a dismal picture, with over a quarter of the population testing HIV positive. The demands on the healthcare system are significant with life expectancy just 49 years and 34.1% of young people (aged 15—24) tested HIV positive. Despite the availability of AntiRetroviral Therapy (ART) and other conventional medical support, there are still a significant number of patients who are unwell and therefore unproductive. The Swaziland Homeopathy Project (SHP) has observed that homeopathic treatment combined with conventional ART has had a synergistic benefit to HIV/AIDS patients. Patients report improved general wellbeing, are able to manage ART side effects better and can be more productive in their day-to-day activities. SHP has identified increased productivity as the main indicator of improvement of patients’ health, particularly by the women working with the handcraft projects. This data is verified by a 5 year statistical analysis of database patient scores completed in April 2014.
In 2011 the s a h e e Foundation sponsored a 4 year professional training of 9 Swazi homeopaths who will be able to continue running and building SHP not only for their own livelihoods but also to continue to support Swaziland’s communities. These trainees graduated on August 9th 2014.
In 2013 SHP received funding from the US Ambassador’s Grant on Gender to train rural women as counsellors to provide social support in their communities. This will be completed by the end of this year, 2014.
The Swaziland Homeopathy Project has been funded by donations from organizations (primarily the s a h e e Foundation) and many individuals. All funds go directly into the day to day coordination of the project and the project itself has been largely run on a volunteer basis.
Committed to monitoring and evaluation SHP created a database based on a scoring system of an individual’s wellbeing. By monitoring the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment, patient demand and the individual needs of each outreach and community clinic our services can be optimized.
Statistical analysis of the database and scoring system shows consistent improvement of the patient’s overall wellbeing and individual symptoms.
At the first follow-up consultation an average of:
– 75% of the patients report an improvement in their overall health scores and
– 65% of the individual symptoms that are scored show improvement.
Since June 2008 there has been an increasing demand for the clinics. The queues are becoming unmanageable. Patients are attending the twice weekly Mbabane town clinics from neighbouring South Africa and from all over Swaziland, with many travelling great distances.
An integrated Health Centre is the next step for SHP. This will be the culmination of six year’s hard work with the aim of self-sustainability always at the forefront. Patients will then have affordable access to all modalities of healthcare in one location and will receive the most effective and appropriate care tailored to their needs. SHP has located a site to build this centre and plans to implement the building process by the beginning of 2015.
It is our goal that by the end of 2015 the project will achieve self sustainability and that the clinics will generate sufficient income to sustain the livelihoods of the Swazi homeopaths.
The Project’s website is at: http://www.kbraunweb.com/homeopathyproject/
Frontline Homeopathy/Homeopathy Action Trust awarded £2,000