Introduction

ADS Pwani was a local implementing partner in the APHIA II (Aids Population Health Intergrated Assistance - Phase II) Coast project. The APHIA II  Coast project fell under the Health Resiliency theme in ADS Pwani strategic plan. The project’s main mandate was to mobilize other churches in HIV & AIDS prevention within the 12 civic districts of the Coast region. The main thrust for the faith based program is Abstinence among the unmarried youths as the only sure way of preventing sexually transmitted HIV and Being Faithful among the married couples. Children in Sunday and Sabbath schools received life skills sessions. The focus on abstinence and being faithful is in line with the Christian teachings that are perpetuated by ADS Pwani.

Achievements

Congregational VCT

At end of the project implementation, 17,197 people within faith based set ups had tested through congregational CT that were offered during worship days. CT provision in church has helped increased male uptake of the service and has promoted couple counseling and testing as well.

Peer Education activities

1,164 peer educators have been trained; out of these, 572 peer educators from 56 centers are active.  Following the aggressive peer education activities, ADS Pwani has managed to integrate HIV and general health activities in the normal church programs as part of the ministry. As a result, program activities have permeated all church departments.

Peer education sessions and outreaches repeatedly reached 4,987,333 people (2,145,935 Males and 2,841,380 females) people with comprehensive HIV prevention messages and other health related messages.Trained staff and implementers conducted family-cantered activities to promote skills on faithfulness among the married couples; a total of 3,899 people (1457 M and 2442 F) have been reached through the family dialogue sessions.

Sunday/Sabbath School activities

Sunday and Sabbath school teachers integrated life skills and age appropriate messages to 168,244 children (70,793 M, 97,451 F) during church school days.

Training of Trainers

For purposes of training and updating the peer educators on different issues periodically, 20 persons were trained as Trainers of Trainers (ToTs); these were 15 peer educators and 5 ADS Pwani members.  The training included integrated health topics such as malaria, TB, RH and MCH/FP and facilitation skills.

Youth Health action days

The main aim for the youth action days was to mobilize youths to access knowledge and skills on HIV prevention, Reproductive health, Family planning Sexuality, Malaria, TB & STI screening and management, and to encourage VCT uptake among the youths. Entertainment, sports and other fun activities that are appealing to the youthwere used. So far a total of 11,986 people (M 6,677and F 5, 309) have been reached through 13 youth health action days.

Stigma Reduction Campaigns

Pastors from the implementing churches participated in peer education which included sessions on stigma in relation to HIV. They have since mainstreamed health messages in their sermon during the worship days. The pastors also followed up on PLHIV during their pastoral visits. Stigma reduction messages reached a total of 1,042,731 people (444,813 male and 597,918 female).

Support Groups for Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV)

14 support groups of PLHIV were formed in various churches. The groups indicate the reduction of stigma in the church. The snow balling method was used to recruit the group members.  The heads to these support groups were trained on positive living, public speaking, disclosure and entrepreneurship skills. Currently all the groups have rolled out IGA activities for livelihood improvement, and all 210 members are registered under CCC.

Friends of Youths (FOY)

These were people adult males and females- drawn from the church congregations and trained, to reach to the hard to reach youths because of the nature of their work – e.g. house helps, shamba boys, (gardeners), vendors – employed and youths with disability with comprehensive HIV prevention messages, also referring them for utilization of quality based facility VCT, Malaria, TB and STI screening and management, MCH, RH/FP among others. These also reached to the street children and gender based survivors- linking them with paralegals for legal action and uptake of facility based services.

Family Dialogue

Following the KAIS report that HIV infection is high among persons in unions because of extra marital sex, ADS Pwani has been mobilizing married couples for family dialogue sessions. The purpose of these forums has been to build skills on couple communication and intimacy to foster faithfulness among the married persons, improve parenting skills and couple counseling and testing for HIV.

Organizational Capacity Building

APHIA II conducted a capacity assessment of ADS Pwani which informed capacity building activities that were conducted throughout the project period. Board members, CCHAI committee members and staff attended the capacity building trainings which have coveredthe following areas- good governance, transparency, resource mobilization and even helping us come with policies for effective working. ADS Pwani has also reviewed its strategic plan as part of organization capacity strengthening.