House to house visit
House to house visit in this project is mainly performed by religious fathers. The religious fathers visit houses of their religious son’s home with the intention to promote and enhance religious participation in all endeavors. In the mean time, they can re-enforce and direct their sons and even the whole neighborhoods to engage in PMTCT activities with a little effort. Hence, in this year 11,792 house hold visited by volunteers and 45,850 people (26,953 F) mobilized on the importance of PMTCT/ANC.
Small group discussion
In ordinary terms, people come together and meet for variety of reasons. The basic assumption in meeting is two heads is better than one, and better decisions can be made if there are more inputs. To assure that better decisions are made, the meeting often needs to be facilitated. A well-facilitated team is more effective in standing together for common objectives. EOC-DICAC is conducting small group discussion in this project through trained volunteers using various religious and traditional gatherings, such as Idir, Ikob, Coffee Ceremony,Sembete, Tsiwa Mahiber, etc.
As a result, 4,671 small group discussion sessions organized (during various religious and traditional gatherings) and 66,330 people (39,980 F) participated in the discussion. Similarly, 40,925 people counseled on compatibility of Holly Water, ART and PMTCT services.
Outreach events at church ceremony (couple counseling)
Studies have shown that if couples are counseled together, many will change their sexual behaviors and the HIV-negative partner will be able to maintain his/her status. It also helps to reduce transmission among discordant couples by helping them to adopt risk-reduction behaviors and reduce mother-to-child transmission.
Considering this fact, EOC-DICAC is conducting couple counseling at outreach level where the local community celebrating at the local church.
Our trained volunteers mobilize the local community and convince them to come together (couple), hence, 36 community outreach church events have been organized across all CPMTCT project implementing woredas, which is 100% of our annual plan. In the event, 4,394 individuals (2367 females) of which 1,130 couples and 296 pregnant women have been voluntarily tested for HIV.
Male partners can influence women’s uptake of HIV testing and antenatal services. For example, women may experience difficulty adhering to treatment due to concerns about disclosure to a partner. Increasing evidence suggests that partner support results in greater antiretroviral therapy (ART) adherence and antenatal clinic attendance, as well as lower transmission rates of HIV to a child. Ethiopia is trying to boost male involvement in order to improve its PMTCT coverage and finally eliminate mother-to-child transmission of the virus.
To contribute its share, EOC-DICAC is using its clergy to approach and convince male counterparts to accompany their female partners in ANC services. Thus, 8,553 male partners reached by religious fathers to accompany their female partners for MNCH/PMTCT services.
The RH needs of the target groups cannot be wholly addressed through the services provided by volunteers at community level. Therefore, an effective referral linkage with the existing health facilities for antenatal, PMTCT and safe delivery has been established and 8,062 pregnant women and 3,396 partners referred to health facility during small group discussion, home visiting and by religious fathers.
Consequently, 2,377 pregnant and 744 partners received ANC/PMTCT services from health facilities.
To assess the progress of the project activities and its results on target communities periodically arranged supportive supervision. In due course, data quality issue, reporting system, planning, interaction with stakeholders and documentation in the course of the project implementation has been given due attention. In the project year, supportive supervision has been made by the department head and the project coordinator in 67% of PMTCT implementing woredas (24 woredas) in Oromia, Amhara, Addis Ababa, SNNPRs and Tigray.
To ensure sustainability, building strong grassroots level organization is highly important. Based on this understanding, EOC-DICAC/IOCC conducted capacity building of volunteers and other partners through providing training, review meeting and availing reading materials.
As a result, basic PMTCT training organized for 399 volunteers across all CPMTCT implementing woredas, more over refreshment training has been arranged for 69 existing volunteers in collaboration with IOCC, government health offices and Intra health.
Central review meeting has been conducted twice on the eve and at the end of the project
Regional review meetings organized in all CPMTCT implementing regions, dioces managers and secretaries of each dioces, woreda Betekinet and parish church managers of each woredas, Focal Persons, Health workers from woreda Health Offices and Health Centers , a total of more than 260 individual participated in the meeting. Hence, challenges and achievements of the previous year presented by the respective Social workers and Focal Persons and all stakeholders decided to contribute their share for the success of the project in the upcoming year.