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MAJOR ACHIEVEMENTS UNDER OUR HIV AND AIDS PROJECT IN THE GREATER ACCRA REGION

In 2006, Gender Centre conducted a nationwide study to investigate the link between HIV/AIDS and gender.  The study findings confirmed a link between Gender, Domestic Violence and HIV/AIDS. This prompted the initiation of another project, Addressing the Gender Related Aspects of HIV and AIDS with funding support from DANIDA through Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) in 2009.

Studies have indicated that women in Ghana are three times more likely to be HIV positive than their male counterparts. This project therefore seeks to address gender inequalities that reduce women’s power, voices and choices to protect themselves against HIV infection.

The main goal of the project is to create demand and expand access to high quality services in order to reduce new infection among women and girls, as well as their male counterparts in the Greater Accra, Ashanti and Eastern regions of Ghana.  This project is implemented in partnership with Prolink, another Ghanaian NGO. The Gender Centre focuses on project activities in the Greater Accra Region.  

The main objectives of the project include:

  • To increase consistent and correct use of condoms
  • To increase knowledge of HIV transmission
  • To reduce the effects of negative gender norms on women’s susceptibility to HIV infection in the three focus regions
  • To provide in-depth knowledge about and access to Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for survivors of sexual violence
  • To provide information on women’s and girls’ human rights including sexual and reproductive rights
  • To promote and provide counseling and testing services
  • To partner with media to promote the rights  of women and children within the context of HIV prevention

So far;

 

Ø  Four field staff and Forty (40) peer educators made up of ten (10) Legal Literacy Volunteers, ten (10) out of school Youth, ten (10) in-school youth and ten (10) PLHIV have been successfully trained.

 

Ø  We have trained Legal Literacy Volunteers who have formed mummies and daddies clubs in the two districts and have reached 11,213 adults with information on gender and legal rights in the context of HIV and AIDS.

 

Ø  We have reached 54,518 in and out of school youth with information on sexual and reproductive health rights including sexual violence and access to PEP. In and out of school youth have been reached through the activities of STAR (Society Tackling AIDS through Rights) Circles and Clubs formed by peer educators in project schools and communities in all the 2 districts.

 

Ø  We have supported 10 trained PLHIVs in the districts to  educate their support group members on their rights as well as the positive living tool kits (developed by AED SHARP) to encourage positive living among their peers. Also, with support from legal literacy volunteers and PLHIVs, Gender Centre organized stigma reduction and advocacy programmes on Radio Ada and Obonu FM to educate the general populace on the rights of PLHIV.

 

Ø  We have formed 2 Inter-Sectorial Committees for Action (one per district) with members made up of  representatives from Traditional Council, Religious Bodies (Moslem and Christians), Queen Mothers’ Associations, Ghana Health Service, Assembly members, HIV Focal persons, SHEP Coordinators, CHRAJ, DHMT, Social Welfare, DOVVSU among others. Members have been tasked to identify some negative gender norms fueling HIV in each district, review existing bye-laws, and are currently lobbying and advocating for the enforcement of these laws by the District Assemblies. Currently, Dodowa has passed a bye law banning spinning beyond 6pm during funeral celebrations.

 

Ø  In commemoration of World AIDS Day Celebrations, Pro-link and its partners in 2009, organized a two-week national walk show in collaboration with Mr. Isaac Anan (Kak Dee) through all the six districts and created awareness about the key themes of the Gender and HIV project including consistent and correct use of condoms, sexual and reproductive health rights and negative gender norms that increase women’s susceptibility to HIV infection. Others include Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for survivors of sexual violence, Counseling and Testing services for HIV and Stigma reduction against PLHIVs.

 

Ø  We have organized a route march in Accra Central in commemoration with International Women’s’ Day (2010) and submitted a petition to the Minister of Women’s’ and Children’s’ Affairs demanding government support for the enforcement of existing laws relating to the identified issues fueling the spread of HIV such as the criminalization of harmful traditional practices, among others.

 

Ø  We have also set up  Drop-Inn Centre in Pute in Ada, a fishing community and far from the Ada Health Centre which has no health facility. The centre provides PEP, HIV/STI related services in the community.

 

Ø  We have screened  and treated 166 persons of STI in all the two districts.

 

Ø  We have referred 37 survivors of sexual violence for PEP services of which 26 accessed the PEP package.

 

Ø  We have effectively collaborated with Spiritual camps and the Ghana Health Service to  financially support 4 PLHIVs in spiritual camps to access HIV related services at the Health Centres in Ada.

Ø  We have undertaken a weekly HIV counseling and testing outreach in project communities, counseled, tested and provided HIV results  for 7,949 clients.

 

Ø  We have referred HIV positive clients for palliative care and effectively monitored their access to treatment.

Ø  We have set up 159 condom outlets in all project sites, sold 1,323,558 male condoms, distributed 39,329 female condoms and ensured correct and consistent use of condoms among partners.

 

Ø  We have mobilized Stakeholders in all the six districts and developed concepts for BCC materials on gender issues identified as fueling HIV/AIDS in their districts. 2,302 BCC materials have been distributed to community members, partners, stakeholders, in and out of school youth among others.

 

So far we are very satisfied with our achievements and we look forward to chalking more successes as the project rolls on.

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