SPF Project



YOUTH HIV PREVENTION PROGRAMME

Funded by: Charlize Theron Africa Outreach

Project Coordinator: Nangamso Magadla

Sector: Health

The aim of this project is to combat HIV/AIDS, unwanted pregnancies amongst young women and girls through an action orientated behaviour change and communication approach that will build the competence of adolescents and young women to have self-efficacy in their sexual and reproductive health (SRH), as well as access such SRH and rights (SRHR) services.

Strategies:

Ward Based Participatory Engagements,

Establishment and promotion of active participation of the Young Women and Girls Leadership Network,

Action Orientated Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights Programme for youth (In School and Out of School)

Youth Day at ELMI college, computer literacy workshop

 

Key activities:

·         Community and Stakeholder Mobilisation and Planning.

·         Community Interactions

·         Establishment of Network

·       Recruitment of members into the Network

Results / Achieved during year:

We started the year on a constructive note, meetings with operational managers, Lay counsellors, Community Health Workers were held at the clinics underpinning the programme’s existence and objectives and the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders.  Meetings with clinic committees followed and plans to strengthen ward health forums and promote staunch relationships with communities with regards to health and social services access and awareness.  Youth representatives within the committees were helped to comprehend the fundamental role they have to play in enhancing youth awareness and involvement and are to work in alliance with the HIV prevention programme which embodies the youth leg in the forum.

‘Happy Hour’ in clinics was introduced for adolescents which is from 14:00 – 16:00 on a regular weekly basis.  This time is allocated to providing youth and adolescent services in clinics.  Community Health Workers play a huge role ensuring that youth access and are knowledgeable about the service.

HIV treatment adherence is maintained by patients, however, there was an increasing challenge of non-adherence amongst newly initiated on ART patients, although pre and post counselling is offered. It has been noticed that new initiated on ART are struggling to remain on ART and therefore default. Each case differs. At Masiphile, Thembalethu, Newlands, Openshaw, Zikhova and Mpongo clinics, Community Health Workers are sent to find people not adhering to their treatment and refer them back to the clinics for assistance and support defaulters.  Adherent patients are registered on the Centralised Chronic Medication Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD); a programme for clients that do adhere. That enables them to be able to fetch their Anti-retroviral treatment at various pick up points and not necessarily clinics.   Community health care workers are also able to fetch and distribute treatment for patients already on CCMDD.  Access to youth friendly services is also being actively promoted and young people between ages 12 - 24 are encouraged to access these services at the local clinics. Immunisations are offered at crèches due to clinics experiencing an accumulation in children missing immunisation, this initiative is welcomed at various crèches.  Children not immunised are also identified by CHWs during home visits as they request clinic cards and go through them to refer and provide feedback to clinics.  A community based awareness campaign in Nkqonkqweni and Msobomvu in this regard took place, directed by the CHWS, supported by clinic nurses.

In Zikwabe two campaigns took place:

The first to promote exclusive breastfeeding. This campaign took place following the training on mother and child care the CHWs received at the end of last year offered by SPF through PEPFAR funding.

The second, a campaign to boost awareness about sexually transmitted diseases also took place, highlighting the different types of STIs, symptoms and prevention thereof.  In May, Growth Monitoring and Development capacity building of CHWs also followed.  This forms an important part of HIV Prevention for mothers.  Education about the importance of adherence continues to form a major part of the programme in clinics, in the communities including shebeens and in homes during door to door home visits. HIV, HCT, STI, TB and SRH education is provided, followed by HIV, STI and TB screening. Condoms are distributed and use is encouraged.  Early antenatal care visits are highly encouraged for the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission.  As a result a 0% transmission rate was reported.  Pregnancy tests are offered to women of child bearing age, this is done in clinics and during home visits.

Focus group discussion were held in Mathanga, Nkqonkqweni, Mzonkeshe, Khwetyana, Ntenteni, Zikwabe villages with over 150 out-of-school young women.  The young women showed hopefulness about their future and wanted to be part of development.  Their biggest challenge was furthering their studies.  The lack of education opportunities is what ultimately limits their chances of finding employment and contributing to the economy.

“To apply for university admission is a challenge, we have smart phones but we run out of data or there is a network challenge.  Going to the institutions to apply is also useless at times because we stand in long queues and end up not even getting the chance to apply as officials serve people they know first.  We use money to go to these institutions and end up having wasted the little money we have”.

Pressure to have unprotected sex from their partners was also discussed and they agreed that condom negotiation is still a concern.  They also voiced that teenage pregnancy is still a challenge in this community, these girls are apparently pressured by their boyfriends to fall pregnant as a “symbol of love”.

Sport is popular in this community and in Nkqonkqweni village there are 3 netball teams who participate in tournaments where they can get sponsored kits. Soccer is also popular for young men. The problem is the youth that are already addicted to drugs, they do not want to participate.

The groups have since been registered onto the Bumb’ingomso leadership network to access opportunities.

On Youth Day; 16th June, 15 of these young women had the opportunity to be taken to attend developmental workshops at ELMI college which included:  Study options for youth without matric, Basic Word and Excel, Knowing yourself, Growing and nurturing own business. Others had netball tournaments and youth camps to attend.  The youth want to learn ways to start their own income generating businesses. Some youth have skill in hairdressing (Plaiting), some in sewing and some in carpentry and 1 is currently running a charcoal business in Msobomvu village.  35 of the youth with skills that they can use to make money, will be attending an accredited 5 day Micro MBA course provided by SPF. 

Sexual and reproductive health education in 17 schools is offered. The Bright Futures Programme (BFP) is a school based programme within the HIV prevention programme and is a behavioural change tool that enables learners to understand why they are in school and emphasises the importance of staying in and completing school to have a bright future.  It provides a platform for learners to share their dreams, fears, challenges and future visions with their parents; thereby creating an enabling environment for parents to support the learning of their children.  The BFP aims at decreasing pregnancy, absenteeism and drop-out rates of girl learners. 1127 learners are currently on the programme in Newlands and Chalumna and is favoured by the pupils and Life skills’ educators.

Gender based violence education and Speak Out education to address violence, abuse and bullying is being carried in schools.

Challenges:

At Newlands clinic the late ANC bookings by pregnant women and emergency deliveries is a risk for PMTCT.

At Zikwabe Primary School, pupils between grades R – 5 have been exposed to sex at home and have been reported to be experimenting with each other at school. This has been addressed with the Principal and Parent – Learner dialogues and education sessions are to take place early in the 3rd term.

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