Swaziland Community Based Volunteers and community members congratulating MoH for bringing EAAA services closer to Mshingishingini Community
A SAfAIDS – SWANNEPHA Early Access to ART for All (EAAA) services launch held on 28th February 2015 was met with enthusiasm and appreciation by most of the community members who attended the meeting. The EAAA services were launched through a demand creation community dialogue (DCCD) that was attended by 89 people (29 males and 60 females).
The participants included traditional leadership, a nurse from Mshingishingini clinic, members of the MaxART Consortium, Community Based Volunteers (CBVs), support group members, community resource group members and community members. The CBVs were very instrumental in mobilising their communities to participate in the DCCD. A CBV, Ms Thembelihle Emmett, encouraged women to pioneer the use of EAAA services as drivers of successful and healthy homes.
Women participating in the DCCD
“As women, we are mothers; note that behind every healthy and successful home there is a woman hence we need to face HIV head on by ensuring that we live as good examples to our families. Taking an HIV test is a good start and if found with the virus in your blood enrol for EAAA services.
We appreciate the Ministry for bring HIV treatment closer to us compared to before when ART could only be accessed through the Ntfonjeni clinic which is a distance from here. Having these services here at Mshingishingini is even better, said Ms Emmett.”
She added that as a CBV of the community she will mobilise her fellow community members boldly considering that free EAAA services are within reach, stressing that this is a good move for the health of their families and the entire community of Mshingishingini. This was also confirmed by the group of men during their dialogue.
Men dialoguing on EAAA at Mshingishingini Chiefdom
World AIDS Day is globally commemorated every 1st day of the month of December. In Swaziland the 2014 World AIDS Day event was held in Lubombo Region at Siteki sports ground.
The MaxART Consortium information desk during the WAD commemoration event
SAfAIDS in partnership with the Family Life Association implemented a Sexual Reproductive Health ( SRH) national dialogue on Family Planning for young people. The dialogue brought together 30 young people from different organisations working with young people to discuss SRH issues affecting them. The organisations included AMICAALL, Super buddies, Swaziland Young Women’s Network (SYWON), Khulisa umntfwana, Rock of hope, FLAS and SWANNEPHA.
Masiza Lukhele is an ex-miner who lives in Buseleni - a chiefdom found in Nkwene constituency. He earns a living from keeping poultry in a small scale that helps him keep his family slightly above the poverty datum line. He was diagnosed with TB while working in the dusty tunnels of one of the South African mines. He first enrolled for treatment in Lebanon hospital in the Republic of South Africa and was successful in completing a six months long treatment. During his treatment he was compelled to retire from work.
SAfAIDS in collaboration with the miners association conducted 2 meetings with TB affected communities in 2 Constituencies (Nkwene and Mpolonjeni) on 19-20th November 2014. During these meetings the communities were given refresher training on TB (with more emphasis on TB symptoms, community coordinated support in identifying TB patients for TB treatment and adherence). The newly developed National Strategic Plan (NSP 2015-2019) on TB was introduced to the communities through a presentation by the National TB Programme (NTP).
MBABANE, 3 October 2014 (SAfAIDS Media) - The Ministry of Health through the MaxART consortium is embarking on a new approach to HIV care in Swaziland. The approach is whereby antiretroviral treatment (ARVs) is offered to willing individuals after a positive HIV test, despite the level of their CD4 cell count, thereby including even those that still feel healthy and might not see the need for starting treatment. This approach still uses the same antiretroviral treatment (ARVs) that people living with HIV take for life and is known as Early Access to ART for All (EAAA).
SAfAIDS is working with local and international partners to bolster HIV prevention efforts in Swaziland with a focus on treatment as prevention. Under the MaxArt-For Better Health and Zero New HIV Infection project, SAfAIDS works with community based organizations, government traditional and political leaders to mobilise communities to take the lead, know their HIV status and get treated.