In January, 2000, the Cyril
Ross Nursery started a HIV/AIDS Children's Clinic with
the aim of giving the children good medical evaluation
on a regular basis so as to make them live a better quality
of life even in their immune-deficiency state with or
with out antiretroviral medications.
Before the clinic
was started, Dr. David John and later Dr. Nosa Everest
Omo-Igbinomwanhia saw to the medical needs of the children
as the need arose until the idea of the clinic was nurtured
to enable us to see to all the other children in a more
comprehensive manner using a model developed as a team
At the end of these clinic sessions
a team meeting is held to review each child's needs
from a medical and psycho-social standpoint. This team
is comprised of Dr. David John, Dr. Nosa Everest Omo-Igbinomwanhia,
Nurse Claire Thomas, Hyacinth Cross - Manager of the nursery
and senior supervisory caregivers at the nursery.
The year 2001 saw the introduction of the clinic services
being extended to outpatients. These out patients are HIV
positive but not residing in the Cyril Ross Nursery but
with their surviving parent or extended family. The goal
is to extend the same level high quality care to this group
At present 20 outpatients are seen in every clinic session.
These clinics are held every 4-6 weeks.
Out of the 22 children on antiretroviral medication, close
to 60% now have undetectable viral loads. This indeed is
a remarkable achievement. This success rate is unprecedented
given the limited resources which is at the Nursery's disposal.
This level of success is a result of the dedication of
the daily staff at the Nursery and the support and contributions
of our steadfast benefactors namely the Hibiscus Foundation,
Pour L'Innocent, British West Indies Airways and the Lions
Club. Indeed a lot of additional levels of support come
from individuals and other corporate entities.
The truth is our work has now begun because the modern
approach to HIV/AIDS is that of any other chronic disease
such as hypertension, diabetes or asthma. While there is
no cure, state of the art treatment is available so much
so that no one diagnosed as HIV positive today is expected
to die as a result of HIV positive today is expected to
die as a result of HIV if properly managed. This truly
tells the success of intervention with antiretroviral medications.
With the continued support of
our current benefactors and with the proposed relationship
we intend to forge with the government of Trinidad & Tobago,
the Cyril Ross family is committed to serving individuals
and families infected/affected by HIV/AIDS in a more
comprehensive, compassionate and holistic manner.
In November, 2002, the United Nations
selected the Cyril Ross Nursery project as the first to
be highlighted in a ten-part series focusing on HIV/AIDS
to be filmed and aired on the Showtime Network.
Pursuant to this, Hollywood
actor, Danny Glover, the UNDP Goodwill Ambassador visited
Trinidad & Tobago. Mr.
Glover interfaced with the political directorate of the
country, visited the Nursery and engaged in a public session
with the media with a view to raising the level of awareness
of HIV/AIDS and influencing both the government's and the
public's approach to persons affected by the virus.
The UN sponsored television programme was first aired
on Showtime on Sunday 12 th January, 2003 and has since
been repeated on a number of occasions.