The week long learning exchange between the Network on Ethics, Human Rights, Law, HIV/AIDS Prevention, Support and Care (NELA) and the Kenya AIDS NGO Consortium (KANCO), the Alliance linking organisations in Nigeria and Kenya respectively, was made possible through financial support from the Alliance Secretariat in the UK.
Best practice and programme experience was shared and lessons learned on a range of thematic areas including programming for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), care and support, sexual and reproductive health (SRH), TB, and working with most at risk populations such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and injecting drug users.
In particular, KANCO’s work on TB provided valuable experience on the integration of TB and HIV programmes, with clear lessons to be learnt from Kenya’s multisectoral approach to TB. The lessons NELA has learnt will inform its new strategic framework on integration of SRH and TB programmes into its ongoing activities. NELA will also refocus on collaboration with the Nigerian government, having seen the experiences of KANCO in working with the Kenyan government and drop-in centres to provide better access to antiretroviral and TB drugs. NELA plans to put forward a policy paper for decentralisation of antiretroviral provision in Nigeria to the Minister of Health, adapting the strategies used by KANCO.
The exchange was also useful for KANCO to learn about NELA’s approach to working with OVC. As a result, KANCO is aiming to implement some of the same systems as NELA to improve its programmes, for example the mapping of OVC services and development of selection criteria for community-based organisations who claim to be working with OVC.
“The exchange was very useful because it promoted sharing of information and knowledge on different thematic areas and of best practices, in particular the use of Comprehensive Care Clinics to reach most-at-risk populations, public/private partnerships in the fight against HIV, KANCO’s TB work in Kenya, and NELA’s OVC programmes in Nigeria,” said Kemi Olowokere, programme manager at NELA.
The two organisations have also agreed on other action points, for example putting some community organisations working with MSM in Nigeria and Kenya in contact with each other. KANCO will also aim to visit NELA next year to learn more about its OVC work.
The exchange visit, which saw two representatives from NELA spend a week with the team in KANCO in October 2009 with financial and facilitation support from the Alliance Secretariat in the UK, included field visits to a wide variety of sites, including a care and support organisation in the Kibera slums, a comprehensive care clinic in Nairobi, and a TB project.
The lessons NELA learnt will inform its new strategic framework on integration of SRH and TB programmes