The border areas of Senegal are home to many populations who are highly vulnerable to HIV. The Alliance’s LO in Senegal, ANCS, is setting out to improve prevention work in these regions by building the capacity of local community based organisations (CBOs), helping to ensure that the spread of HIV is significantly reduced.
Many populations in the border regions are vulnerable to HIV because of their itinerant lifestyles. Sex workers, salesmen and women, farmers and shepherds move from place to place, making it difficult to reach them with information about preventing HIV. The regions have also been subject to conflict and flooding, which has displaced people from their homes and there are many refugee communities living along the borders.
Since 2006 ANCS has been making strides at improving prevention work in the region. Working in partnership with FHI 360 with funding from USAID, 87,100 people have been reached with HIV prevention messaging and 122,192 condoms have been distributed in 5 border areas so far.
BUILDING ON PROGRESS
Despite this progress more needs to be done to protect vulnerable and isolated populations from HIV. That’s where the new stage of the programme comes in. The new health programme, which runs from 2011 until 2016, aims to consolidate the progress that has been made and expand the reach of the project by building the capacity of local CBOs.
The focus will be on reinforcing prevention work being done by CBOs and helping them to integrate gender awareness and anti HIV/TB co-infection into their action plans.
The programme is supporting CBOs though:
- Community based training. This includes training CBO representatives one the main issues so that they can raise awareness of HIV amongst communities
- Supplying materials including training manuals and guidelines
- Training in communications activities, so that CBOs can effectively participate in community radio programmes and organise public discussions in communities to spread prevention messages.
- Establishing a permanent supply of condoms for CBOs to distribute.
- Improving services at a community level
- Involving community leaders in the coordination process
In the first year of the programme ANCS expects to reach 16,125 people in total with HIV and TB prevention messages, train 100 outreach workers on gender and HIV and on TB and HIV, and distribute 200,000 condoms including 40,000 female condoms.