AIDS Care and Prevention Program
The CBCHS AIDS Care and Prevention Programme (ACP) Coordination Office is located within the Health Services Complex premises even though the various components of the programme operate within the different health facilities of the CBCHS. The CBCHS-ACP programme is very comprehensive and covers most aspects of AIDS work in the system. Its activities include HIV prevention, care and treatment for people living with the virus, and care and psychosocial support for the affected. Greater emphasis is being laid on prevention. The programme comprises the following components:
The Community AIDS Education
This component of the ACP programme was set up in 1999 to create awareness on HIV and AIDS in communities in order to curb the rapid spread of the pandemic. Its activities include the following:
- Dissemination of basic information on HIV & AIDS and various prevention methods.
- Advocacy on behavioural change.
- Provision of Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT), and linkages to care and treatment
- Preparation and distribution of HIV & AIDS education materials.
- Training and certification of health educators and volunteers for sensitisation.
- Audience sensitisation through lectures, role-plays, videos, etc.
The principal funder of the Community AIDS Education component of the ACP programme is Bread for the World
Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT).
The Prevention of Mother-To-Child Transmission (MTCT) component of the CBCHS AIDS Care and Prevention (ACP) programme seeks to reduce to the lowest level (< 2 %) the transmission of HIV from mother to child using ARVs. Staff of this service in the various CBCHS health facilities help women to access services. The project is funded by Elizabeth Glaser Paediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF), PEPFAR, and the CBCHS
Tuberculosis (TB) Control
The AIDS Care and prevention programme also coordinates TB control and treatment activities on government approved sites in CBCHS facilities. This element of the programme maintains medical records of TB patients to facilitate follow up and ensure treatment adherence. As the rate of the infection keeps rising, and given the lengthy duration of the treatment, some patients tend to default treatment and create resistance to the drug. Also, most people living with HIV (PLWHIV) easily contract TB. The good news, however, is that TB treatment is available in approved Treatment Centres and it is free of charge. PLWHIV are encouraged to screen for TB. Thanks to this programme, treatment completion rate is improving.
Orphan Care (Chosen Children Programme – CCP)
The aim of the CCP is to identify and register orphans and other vulnerable children, and raise funds to support them through their foster parents. The CCP:
- Trains foster parents or caregivers on basic parenting skills.
- Helps caregivers to obtain micro loans for income generating activities.
- Encourages communities to assist with taking care of orphans.
It is funded by the North American Baptist Conference, EGPAF, SHUNDZEV, and the Baptist General Conference.
This initiative brings PLWHIV together to empower them to live positively with their conditions. Support Groups offer their members the following services:
- Linkage to care and treatment facilities
- Nutrition training and practical demonstrations on food preparation
- Encouragement to members to form work groups that can receive loans for small business enterprises
- Training of members in health promotion and disease prevention
- Training of members in handicrafts and other marketable skills to enable them increase their income
- Assisting members and their infants with medical follow up
- Provision of a strong infrastructure for lobby and advocacy
- Self-supporting assistance to members with help from CBCHS
Care and Treatment
This component of the CBCHS AIDS Care and Prevention (ACP) programme takes care of HIV infected and affected persons. Treatment for AIDS is provided free of charge by the government and it is very effective. Clients pay part only for the tests required for their treatment while the government pays for the drugs. The CBCHS presents runs five government approved treatment centres.
Youth Network for Health (YONEFOH)
YONEFOH encourages the youth to create or join health clubs and pledge abstinence from sex and substance abuse, with the aim of preventing HIV, other sexually transmissible infections and unwanted pregnancies, and preserving the intimacy of sex for a better marriage. YONEFOH works with youths in the following domains:
- Provides information on various HIV and STI prevention methods.
- Carries out surveys on youths to measure their sexual awareness, attitudes and practices.
- Conducts free HIV tests on youths with permission from their parents.
- Provides youths with HIV and AIDS education among other programmes to promote youth health clubs.
The Palliative Care unit of the ACP programme provides people with HIV & AIDS, cancer and other terminal painful illness the possibility to control and manage pains and symptoms related to their conditions. Among other services, patients in any of these conditions receive the following help from the programme:
- Psychosocial support to patients and their families at places most convenient to the patients (in hospitals, clinics and during home visits).
- Spiritual support to patients and their families as part of the wholistic approach to bring them to peace within their own beliefs before the end of their lives.
- Conducts ongoing training for health professionals and community care volunteers.
Adopt a Health Care Worker
This is an initiative in which CBCHS staff donate a percentage of their monthly salaries into a fund, which is used to provide care and treatment to infected colleagues living with HIV & AIDS and other chronic health conditions like diabetes and hypertension. Over 40 staff are currently benefiting from this fund. The support has now been extended to cover affected children of the diseased staff as well.
Extended Forum for Care (Contact Tracing)
Contact tracing and partner notification is a disease intervention strategy that aims at breaking the chain of HIV transmission in a community. Any person who tests HIV positive is considered the “index case” and is interviewed to obtain information about his/her sexual contacts. The Health Advisor and “index case” agree on who should notify the sexual partner (whether the Health Advisor does it confidentially without disclosing the source of their information or the client notifies the sexual partner that they have been exposed to HIV and need to be tested).
The programme is called Extended Forum of Care (EFC), because its focus is on identifying persons at risk, counselling them on ways to reduce the risk of acquiring and transmitting HIV, and referring HIV positive cases for care and treatment. The motto of the CBCHS Contact Tracing programme is Empathy, Faithfulness and Compassion (EFC).
Women's Health Programme
This sub programme comprises four elements: Cervical cancer screening, family planning, breast cancer screening and management of STIs. Its purpose is to ensure a proper reproductive health for all women. Women are encouraged to benefit from this programme.
Nutrition Improvement Programme (NIP)
The Nutrition Improvement Programme was initiated in 2008 to encourage intensification of infant feeding and nutrition activities, with special focus on nutrition for PLWHIV and HIV exposed infants. It trains health providers on appropriate nutrition counselling and reviews infant welfare registers to incorporate monitoring of growth.
The New Life Club
The New Life Club is made up of former sex workers of different ages and socio-economic backgrounds, who come together for rehabilitation. These groups are called New Life Clubs in order to reduce stigma from members of the public. Also in these clubs are boys, most of who began as street children before going into some nasty activities common with street life. The CBCHS has taken the initiative to sponsor some of them in schools and others in learning trades of their choices to enable them earn a more honest living and be useful to society. Recruits into the clubs are screened for HIV and infected ones linked to care and treatment.
Mr. Nshom Emmanuel
General Superior, CBCHB ACP Programme
Tel: +237 677347587