ICAP News - March 2009

New Empowerment Center Provides Income-Generating Opportunities for People Living with HIV in Nigeria

On Feb. 26, ICAP Global Director Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, joined members of patient support groups in Kaduna, Nigeria, to open the New Creation Empowerment Center and Fashion House. The facility provides income-generating opportunities for people living with HIV (PLWH).

The empowerment center emerged from the collective vision of members of patient support groups associated with ICAP-supported Gwamna Awan General Hospital and neighboring HIV service sites. Support group members pooled their transportation and refreshment allowances for group meetings to purchase sewing machines and supplies to establish the two-room store.

The center’s training programs follow an apprenticeship model in clothing and jewelry design. After completing their training, individuals are eligible for loans from the center to start their own businesses. These funds are also provided by contributions from support group members. At the center’s inauguration, loans were presented to the first set of ten beneficiaries.

“This initiative is touching the lives of mothers and women, who are at the heart of ICAP’s family-centered approach,” said Mame Toure, MD, ICAP-Nigeria deputy country director for programs. “It also demonstrates the innovativeness of PLHW groups in developing independent programs on their own.”

Support for the empowerment center is part of ICAP’s larger strategy to foster self-sufficiency for both HIV service organizations and people living with HIV.

Photo caption: Support group members and ICAP staff outside the New Creation Empowerment Center

For more about ICAP Nigeria, visit here.

South Africa Support Group Reaches Self-Sufficiency Milestone

In South Africa, an ICAP-supported organization of people living with HIV (PLWH) recently reached a major milestone by obtaining independent status and becoming self-sufficient.

Since its inception in 2006, the Nobuhle Support Group, based in East London, has provided an array of services for PLWH, including nutritional support and income-generating activities. In recent years, group members recognized the opportunity to become an independent organization. Peer educator Lungiswa Mpofu took the lead in obtaining non-profit status, forging relationships with influential community leaders, and ultimately obtaining sponsorship and grants from external sources, including the Eastern Cape Department of Social Development.

Nobuhle’s independent status has also provided employment opportunities for its members. The Department of Social Development hired 10 members to work as home-based care providers, for which they receive monthly stipends.

“This is a stellar example of ICAP’s role in facilitating sustainable development of the organizations, clinics, and communities that we support,” said ICAP-South Africa Country Director Tshiwela Neluheni, MD. “We provide direction and support where needed, allow the group to take on a life of its own, and then obtain its own support. The end result is an independent organization with which we can collaborate to enhance community-based care for PLWH.”

The Nobuhle Support Group’s experience has provided a template for similar organizations to follow. ICAP is planning to help the group build its capacity to train other support groups in developing their own self-sufficiency plans.

For more about ICAP South Africa, visit here.

'One-Stop' Comprehensive Center Inaugurated at Adama Hospital in Ethiopia

On March 12, the Comprehensive Chronic HIV Care & Training Center and Laboratory was inaugurated at Adama Referral Hospital in Ethiopia. The facility provides integrated services in a convenient ‘one-stop’ approach, including HIV and tuberculosis care and treatment and laboratory testing. Family-focused features include a unique Children’s Corner. In addition, the center has a state-of-the-art training facility to provide didactic and practical experiences for various cadres of providers.

Adama Referral Hospital is one of 52 comprehensive HIV/AIDS service sites supported by ICAP in Ethiopia. Currently, the hospital provides HIV care to more than 12,000 people, including antiretroviral therapy to more than 7,300 individuals.

A number of government and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials attended the center’s inauguration. In remarks, Kebebe Worku, MD, state minister of health for Ethiopia, credited strong partnerships with ICAP, CDC, and the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, which made possible the Adama Center and HIV/AIDS programs at all hospitals across the Oromiya Region. Worku added, “We believe that by putting our collective effort together, we can achieve the National Road Map target of universal access [to HIV services] by 2010.”

Since 2005, ICAP has been providing an array of capacity-building and technical support to Adama Hospital, including clinical training and supportive supervision, provision of medical supplies and equipment, as well as provider and client support tools. 

Photo caption: Kebede Worku, MD, state minster of health for Ethiopia, presents a certificate of appreciation to ICAP Global Director Wafaa El-Sadr, MD, in recognition of ICAP’s “invaluable assistance in the major renovation work” at Adama Hospital. They are flanked by ICAP-Ethiopia Country Zenebe Melaku, MD (far left), and Ato Shallo Dhaba, MD (far right,) head of the Oromiya Regional Health Bureau.

For more about ICAP Ethiopia, visit here.

Tanzania Marks International Women’s Day by Drawing Attention to HIV/AIDS

On March 8, ICAP joined with Tanzania’s First Lady Mama Salma Kikwete and more than 80 women’s groups and other organizations to mark International Women’s Day. In conjunction with celebrations across the country, ICAP worked with the Tanzania AIDS Commission to organize information displays on HIV/AIDS as well as provide HIV counseling and testing.

At the celebration event in Dar es Salaam, which was attended by the first lady, a total of 190 people received HIV counseling and testing. Ten people were identified as HIV infected and immediately referred for follow-up at the nearest Care and Treatment Center.

“We are honored that the Government of Tanzania chose to involve ICAP in International Women’s Day and highlight HIV/AIDS,” said ICAP-Tanzania Country Director Amy Cunningham. “Women are inordinately affected by HIV. Making HIV/AIDS awareness a part of the celebrations shows great commitment to ensuring women access the support and services they need.”

International Women’s Day is a globally celebrated event to recognize the economic, political, and social achievements of women and girls.

Photo caption: ICAP-Tanzania Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Hafsa Khalfani (center) explains ICAP’s HIV/AIDS awareness activities to Tanzania’s First Lady Mama Salma Kikwete (left).

For more about ICAP Tanzania, visit here.