Strengthening Integrated Delivery of HIV/AIDS Services (SIDHAS) Project

In April, 2014, LAPO signed a contractual agreement with the Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) to carry out community-based interventions on Strengthening Integrated Delivery of HIV/AIDS Services (SIDHAS) in Edo Central Senatorial District.

SIDHAS is a USAID-funded, family-centered, community-led intervention project that engages communities to take action to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS; care for and track the welfare of People Living With HIV (PLHIV) including Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and enable greater access to care and support at all levels of care from home to health facilities and other supports.

Objectives

•      To strengthen the capacity of local Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and its collaborating partners to effectively implement integrated community-based prevention and mitigation activities by June 2016;
•      To increase community involvement, capacity and participation in maternal health, HIV/AIDS, Sexually-Transmitted Infections (STI) and Tuberculosis (TB), Sexual and medical prevention, OVC, care and support by June 2016;
•      To build the capacity of CBOs in fostering innovative and local solutions to stem the spread of HIV/AIDS and non-communicable diseases and mitigate its effects in communities through its consortium partners by June 2016.
•       The activities of LAPO in Edo Central Local Government Area under the project include   the following:

·       Referral of young and pregnant women for ANC, HCT and PMTCT services;
·       Provision of PHDP – Positive Health, Dignity and Prevention (PHDP)/ chronic care to PLHIV;
·       Tracking of Defaulters receiving ART, PMTCT and other HIV/AIDS-related Services in activated facilities.
·       OVC Enrollment and provision of services to young/ older OVCs;
·       Facilitation of 250 Caregivers monthly on gender issues and community integrated management of childhood illness(C-IMCI) in five LGAs of Edo central.
·       Facilitation of  5 Child protection committee meetings monthly in the five LGAs of Edo central

Strategies
Advocacy and partnership building; sensitization and community awareness campaign; Technical, organizational and financial capacity building; Behavioral Change Communication including demand creation activities; Provision of services; Referrals, facility mapping and linkages to HIV/AIDS, OVC, TB, STI treatment, care and support services; and Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E).

Project Accomplishments

  •    Advocacy meetings with community leaders, health facilities, school authorities and policy makers across the 5 Local Govt. Areas in Edo Central.
  •    Training of 30 Community Volunteers (CVs) in Edo Central to carry out home visits to vulnerable households and children
  •    Establishment of Child Protection Committees (CPCs) in each of the 5 LGAs of Edo Central
  •    Enrollment of over 40,000 children from most vulnerable households into project services
  •    Provision of services (psychosocial, health education, HCT, education, growth monitoring, nutrition counselling, birth registration) to over 40,000 vulnerable children to care
  •    Establishment of 3 Kids Club (Iruekpen, Igueben and Uromi)
  •    Establishment of 5 groups of 50 OVC Caregivers each, one per LGA for Cooperative Society formation and facilitates access to IGA support grant.
  •    Provision of income generation activity support to 28 older children and caregivers of vulnerable children in the communities.

Testimony by SIDHAS Project Beneficiary

Mrs. Okon Franca

Mrs. Okon Franca (08160514208) is a widow residing in Igueben and caring for six children. She lost her husband 7 years ago through a motor accident. She was a petty trader in provision and food stuff before the death of her husband. She became a subsistence farmer and engaged in menial jobs after losing her means of income soon after the death of her husband. She and her children lived in a dilapidated building with a leaking roof with the children not attending school.

In January, 2015 she was trained on how to make snacks and provided with SIDHAS grant of N15,000 to buy flour, sugar, egg, baking powdered yeast, groundnut oil and butter.

She currently sells snacks like chin-chin, poff-poff, doll-nut, meat pie and egg rows in schools, markets and banks in Igueben. Today, Madam Franca’s snacks are popular in schools, among market women and bankers in Igueben. Mrs. Franca has relocated from her dilapidated rented apartment to a better building and her children are now eating well and regular at school.

Conclusion

The project achieved increase in the uptake of HIV/AIDS and related services and enhanced adherence of target persons living with HIV to treatment regimen. It has also ensured general improvement in the level of community awareness on HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, care and support issues like stigma and discrimination, HCT, PMTCT, Home-based Care and Referrals and dangers of social neglect of vulnerable children.