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
The prevalence of HIV among pregnant women rose from 3.9% in 1992 to 42.9% in 2004 (Sentinel Surveillance Report 2004). However, the 10th sentinel surveillance in 2006 showed a slight drop to 39.2%. HIV prevalence in the 15-24 age group remained steady at 39.4% between 2002 and 2004 and showed a decline to 34.6% in 2006. A consistent decline in the 15-19 year age group (from 32.5% to 26%) was recorded between 2002 and 2006.
This report seeks to summarise the proceedings of, and share outcomes from, the ART Policy Dialogue (APD) that was held at the National HIV and AIDS Information and Training Centre in Swaziland, Manzini on the 16th May, 2007.