Project Launch: 10-9-17
Young people, including sex workers and teen mothers living with HIV/AIDS in Zomba District, Malawi, still face challenges in accessing HIV/AIDS care and treatment services because they lack links to health facilities. The result is that they access health services very late when they are in need of them earlier, faciliating increased local transmission and mortality from HIV/AIDS. Weak referral systems and inconsistent connections with community health workers mean these patients do not receive adequate access to care and treatment. While community groups in the area play a vital role in providing care and support, they don’t often have adequate knowledge, skills and resources to help them deliver relevant services. Long distances to health facilities coupled with poor follow-up leads to high number of treatment defaults with disastrous consequences on the infected and their loved ones.
This project intends to establish 4 HIV/AIDS positive young women support groups targeting sex workers and teen mothers in the communities surrounding the 4 health facilities in the area around Mwambo, a local municipality, in order to provide teen mothers and sex workers living with HIV/AIDS training on positive living, education in nutrition and ART treatment, and strengthen meetings among teen mothers and sex workers living with HIV/AIDS to establish referral systems between the community and the health facilities targeting those living with HIV/AIDS.
Project Update: 2-7-18
Since its inception, the project has established 4 HIV/AIDS positive women support groups comprising of sex workers and teen mothers in the 4 health centres in Mwambo area, specifically in Likangala, Chamba, Primiti and Kachulu. The project trained 9 teen mothers and 6 sex workers living with HIV/AIDS on positive living, nutrition and ART treatment at St. Michaels Teachers Development Centre, facilitated 3 motivation talks with 16 teen mothers and 8 sex workers living with HIV/AIDS, strengthened frequent meetings among sex workers and teen mothers, and established referral systems between the community and health facilities by targeting sex workers and teen mothers living with HIV/AIDS in the area.
Final Report: 4-27-18
The project responded to the challenges facing sex workers and teen mothers living with HIV/AIDS in Mwambo area, especially accessing HIV/AIDS care and treatment services. Women now have a link to health facilities and this has enabled them to start accessing health services before further progression of the disease.