Zimbabwe:Chiredzi Town Council Prevention, treatment and Support of HIV and AIDS

Date: August 1, 2018
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The best practise is on AIDS response through prevention, treatment and support on HIV/AIDS. Chiredzi Town Council, Ketter Poly Clinic, is referral centre which caters for a population of about 32952 people for Chiredzi Urban it is also a referral centre for those who need continued care. Staff at the Ketter poly clinic have a patient cantered approach with the vision “To provide quality health service to the community which we serve, using the holistic approach putting into consideration God’s love’ .God created man in his own image’ Genesis 2 vs7. Furthermore Council formed numerous partnerships with support service organizations.

The project aims is to prevent new cases of HIV/AIDS infections, to use the human rights approach to prevent and protect those living with HIV/AIDS, to offer education and support to the affected and infected, to mobilise resources towards reduction of HIV/AIDS incidences, thus financial medications, manpower and transport. The aims of this project also includes to promote acceptance of one’s HIV positive status and promote disclosure, to improve the quality of life of the patient, the patient’s family and the care givers and also to diminish the burden of care giving which cases stress in life by offering support program

Chiredzi Town Council conducts various activities as part of their project implementation. These activities includes HIV testing at workplaces whereby there will be applying HIV/AIDS education on staff members so that they will be able eradicate discrimination and encourage mostly men to get HIV tests. Support group meetings and Health Education is also another activity within the project. People will be discussing about nutrition, hygiene, how to handle yourself when living a positive life .The project also offers psychological support through counselling. The project again advocates for behavioural change in the community through behavioural change campaigns.

The project has benefited about 2884 people including women, men, boys and girls. The project reaches 3630 direct beneficiaries. On Positive patients who are on ATRT treatment 1 420 are women and 1950 are men. There are also patients who are about 160 women and 22 men. Other direct beneficiaries includes those on successful Prevention of mother to child transmission(PMTCT) and they count up to 369.Of the indirect beneficiaries it reaches about 1.83% of people living with disabilities,0,13% support groups and 0,58% of orphaned vulnerable children.0 benefited online. The project has benefited about 2 900 women with 120 active groups. The project reaches 15 000 indirect beneficiaries.

Chiredzi Town Council has a gender specific allocation of $500 to Family and Child care and $4500 to maternity and equipment. In kind contribution from the donor UNDP amounted to $80000 for computers, data capturing clerks, pre and post-test counselling for HIV/AIDS.Another contribution The Union amounts to $30000 which was allocated for office furniture, water dispenser, computers and internet connection, Rehabilitee of drug store and laboratory. The total budget for the project is $160 000. The project has a strong monitoring and evaluation framework. The Chiredzi Town Council has monitoring and evaluation tools which includes use of secondary data, bar graph and pie charts. The Council also uses a compilation of monthly reports with statistics mainly on Prevention of mother to child transmission statistics. Registers are also part of the tools used by the Council to track changes and number of clients.

Some of the challenges that Chiredzi Town have faced include scarce water supply, limited nursing staff to run maternity ward, male resistance to be tested ad change behavioural changes i.e. smoking, multiple sexual partners and alcohol uptake. To overcome these challenges, the alliance partners have seconded nursing staff at poly clinic. Male spouses are encouraged to accompany their wives for antenatal care visits. The Council came with a strategy of drilling boreholes s that there will be adequate supply.

Gladys Usada a GBV survivor said  “Chiredzi Town Council has given me capacity to become what I am today, without the training and mentorship program I would not be a successful entrepreneur ‘Men have now become so supportive in issues of HIV/AIDS. They are now adjusting to behavioural changes like limiting beer taking and multiple sexual partners. Communities have now made GBV issues, HIV/aids testing and counselling their daily discussions and this has increased the number of people from all communities who come to seek for sexual related issues. Through condom distributions in local communities as well as in public spaces like beerhall, most people have been exposed to knowledge on how to practise safer sex.

The project can be easily replicated with less effort. The Chiredzi Town Council has to adopt the 90-90-90as as a National brand and copy what other countries like South Africa, Botswana and Lesotho have done. The group has to offer continued support, prevention and treatment to the affected and infected for easy sustainability of the best practise. Continuation of resource mobilisation on HIV issues and increase in commitment in training and capacitation of staff also makes the project to be replicated easily. Continued partnerships with relevant ministries, NGOs and Private sectors also help in sustaining the program as more funds continue to be channelled towards the project best practise.

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