Headmen lead in community change through AIDS competence process

(This abstract has been selected for Oral Presentation atthe NACP III Dissemination Summit,to be held in New Delhi, from 25-27April 2012. Submitted by Fr Joe and Rituu B Nanda)

2) Implementing partner and funding agency: People in Need Foundation (PNF), Dimapur and UNAIDS.

3) Year/period of intervention: September 2009 – March 2010

4) Geographical area covered: Seven Villages of Dimapur District, Nagaland

5) Issue that was addressed: (not more than 25 words):
1. Community ownership of HIV
2. Stigma and discrimination
3. Free Voluntary Blood Test
4. Access to prevention, care and treatment services

6) Brief summary of the initiative (not more than 50 words):
1. Identified villages for AIDS Competence Process
2. Selected one dialect for easy communication
3. Meeting of Headmen in seven villages to work in partnership
4. Building awareness of the program and building volunteer teams in the villages
5. Home visits
6. Action Research
7. Dissemination through North East Knowledge Fair

7) Key results achieved of the initiative (not more than 50 words):
1. Sustainability by using community resources like provision of village space
2. Stigma and discrimination reduced with increased uptake of voluntary Blood Tests.
3. Transferred approach to seven other villages, and districts
4. DU and PLHIV act as volunteers.
5. One retired Headmaster actively involved
6. One youth group (Young’s Club) in the program.
7. Approach applied to disabled people and their parents as well as long distance truck drivers done

8) Factors to be considered for replication of the initiative (not more than 30 words):
1. Involvement and responsibility of the headman is crucial and can be replicated in all the villages as they are leaders.
2. Proper approach with motivation- no project approach.
3. Building of volunteers in the villages

9) Which of the following elements did the initiative address
a) Community accessing voluntary blood test, Village volunteers helping HIV patients to access medicines and services.
b) Reached out to seven villages in Dimapur district through sensitization with different activities along with the different groups, like Men, Women and Youth groups. Also the programs spread to nine other villages in another district. One Youth group based in the main town of Dimapur was covered.
c) PNF was the recipient and implemented the programs for the state. Activities and photo record maintained.
d) The headmen of the villages led the community in the program. Volunteer teams formed in the villages with active involvement of one local retired head master in the program.
e)Trainings conducted for volunteers and sensitization done with different groups. Program continues after the funding.
f)Community provided space and made voluntary contribution for the programs.
g) Stigma and discrimination reduced, which is seen by sharing of testimonies and community members coming out for voluntary HIV blood test.
h) Volunteers based in villages, and those who gave testimonies were appointed as staff in the TI program. Active involvement of local retired Govt. employee by involving in state and national programs.

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