SFH trains 60 community mobilisers to halt HIV transmission in Taraba

The Society for Family Health (SFH) has trained 60 community mobilisers and testers, to prevent HIV and AIDS transmission among pregnant women and children in Taraba.

The Programme Manager, Lafiyan Yara Project of the Society, Aisha Dadi, said the exercise was aimed giving the trainees the needed knowledge to enable them to function effectively.

Dadi noted that SFH was the first partner carrying out focused-intervention on children in HIV/AIDS in the state, saying it was crucial for all activities to work maximally.

“It is therefore, important that everything goes accordingly because we will be setting the pace.

“I urge you to pay attention to your training and ensure that those children in need of support get the needed assistance,” she said.

According to her, participants were drawn Jalingo, Zing, Karim-Lamido, Bali, Gashaka, Sardauna, Gassol and Wukari Local Government Areas of the state.

She said the training would build the capacity of community mobilisers to improve HIV case identification, referral, retention in care of children, adolescents and pregnant women.

She said that the community mobilisers included traditional birth attendants, village health workers, proprietary and patent medicine vendors as well as mentor mothers.

“You are the ones with the people at the grassroots, you are the ones who interact with them the more and who they can confide in.

“It is therefore, imperative that you take your work very seriously, starting with this training by paying attention and asking all the necessary questions where you need clarifications” she said.

In his remarks, Dr Daudu Nyubanga of the State AIDS and STI Control Programme, stressed the readiness of the agency to collaborate with partners to combat the scourge in the state.

“We want to expand case identification to ensure quick assistance, as this is a collective fight that must be fought from all fronts,” he said.

Also speaking, Mr Ronald Cletus, Director, Treatment Care and Support in the Taraba Action Committee on AIDS, said the training was critical to increase the rate of testing for children, which was low.

“Last week, 85 children tested positive for HIV and AIDS in the state, and this is worrisome.

“The essence is to get more pregnant woman and children to be tested, and that is why we are having this refresher training,” he said.

He expressed optimism that the gesture would impact on the trainees to scale up testing and counselling services.

The Lafiyan Yara (Well-being of children) is a three-year project funded by AIDSFONDS and fully implemented by SFH in partnership with the Institute of Public Health (IPH) of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU).

The project adopts an implementation science approach, using existing community mechanisms such as the Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA), Village health workers (VHWs) and the Proprietary Patient Medicine Vendors (PPMVs) popularly known as ‘chemist’.

The Lafiyan Yara project aims to increase access and uptake of HIV services among children (0-14 years) and reduce HIV transmission from mother to child in Taraba State by 2022.

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