HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) and General Life-Skills Campaigns

Training - HIV Support Groups and Clubs

One of the most serious challenges faced by health care professionals with clients receiving chronic care is that of treatment adherence.  

Professionals and chronic care patients both identify a multitude of factors which lead to their non-compliance to medication routines.  

Hence, the Department of Health have initiated treatment adherence support groups and treatment adherence clubs both in their facilities and within the surrounding communities.  

ESST has taken up the challenge of increasing the uptake of clients in both groups and clubs.  

HIV Treatment Support Groups

It is well documented in the media that our health care facilities are often congested and over-crowded. 

In an effort to reduce the numbers at clinics, the Department of Health have progressively, over the span of the last three years or more, introduced treatment support groups and treatment adherence clubs into their facilities and the surrounding communities.  

However, the Department of Health's main challenge has been recruiting and maintaining clients in these treatment support initiatives.  

Thus, during this funding cycle, ESST has not only included this focus in our social mobilisation campaigns, but we have also received training on how to conduct these groups and clubs.  

We have also been instrumental in assisting tracing treatment defaulters and helped to link them back to facilities to continue and/or complete their treatments.  

HIV Treatment Support Groups

We also cannot overlook how social ills such as poverty affects treatment adherence and support in our most poorest of communities, with many community members expressing that they would rather not take their medication than suffer the side effects of taking it on an empty stomach. 

Therefore we have linked groups with food gardens, or received donations to provide members with nourishment for that day.  

This is has helped to raise the numbers of attendees at support interventions and helped us to reach our targets.  

Through ESST’s whole-community approach we have been able to reach individuals, their families and fellow community members.  

HIV Treatment Support Groups

Our programme activities are designed to mobilise communities for the uptake of services at health facilities and to provide information enabling individuals to take responsibility for their own health.  

We therefore targeted primary and high school learners, their parents, family members, and the community in general.  

Our interventions included: 

  • school health promotion sessions to increase learners’ awareness of health-related issues and how to live a healthier lifestyle; 
  • treatment defaulter tracing; 
  • treatment adherence and treatment support initiatives to boost clients’ compliance to medication; 
  • condom distribution to dedicated distribution sites to reduce HIV and STI infections in communities; 
  • the distribution of end-user-friendly educational materials to raise awareness of the various diseases; 
  • health information sessions to improve health awareness; and parent-child health awareness sessions to create awareness-raising opportunities for both parents (caretakers) and their children.
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