SAfAIDS Conducts orientation of Traditional Leaders on Early Access to ART for All
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). The EAAA approach will be piloted in the northern Hhohho Region where 14 health facilities have been earmarked to pilot the programme.
SAfAIDS is therefore mobilising communities in order to create awareness and demand for the programme in the communities where implementation will take place. To kick off the community mobilisation, SAfAIDS conducted the orientation of 19 Traditional Leaders (TLs) in September, 2014. The TLs were taken through the EAAA programme and its objectives. They expressed their appreciation for having their communities selected for the roll out of the programme in their communities. Princess and Chief Ntfombindze of Hhohho North welcomed this initiative in their areas and stated their excitement and enthusiasm as it is to their benefit to have a healthy community. The TLs stated that they look forward to the planned community mobilisation activities that will be conducted in their areas with some mentioning that they would put up structures to work with SAfAIDS.
SAfAIDS will therefore visit the communities close to the sites identified for the EAAA pilot so as to sensitize and mobilize them for the uptake of EAAA.
SAfAIDS Media Desk