In mitigating a human resource crisis in the health sector where there is a shortage of qualified staff in the country the TUNAJALI HIV Care, Treatment and Support Services Program has trained 2,638 health community workers (HCWs).
Ministry of Health estimated a nationwide shortage of 17,000 health care workers in 2007 and with the increasing number of HIV cases, TUNAJALI saw the need of training health workers as the shortage threatened the delivery of quality health care services in the areas they operated. The trainings were conducted between year 2007 – 2012.
In ensuring that there was quality HIV care and treatment, TUNAJALI trained health workers on comprehensive HIV/AIDS Management, pediatric HIV care, prevention of HIV infection from mother to child, clinical HIV mentorship, adherence counseling, TB/HIV integration, strategic information and basic care and treatment services.
Apart from the trainings since its inception, TUNAJALI motivated and supported HCWs in order to improve quality of services provided at Care and Treatment Clinics (CTCs). This has managed to ensure that services are delivered to all clients attending the clinics regardless of extra time spent by HCWs at CTC.
The Director of Field Operations, Dr. Joseph Ngweshemi reports that the working environment has become more conducive for delivering quality HIV care and treatment services. According to him, a lot of resources have been used to renovate service delivery facilities, job aids have been developed for regular use by HCWs, solar power has been installed in 42 rural facilities and laboratories have been equipped with all basic equipment to facilitate diagnostic procedures and monitoring disease progression.
Mr. Were Okumu the Lab Manager reports that 228 different lab equipment were purchased and installed. He mentioned the equipment and the numbers in brackets as hematology analyzers (44), Chemistry analyzers (31), CD4 machines (32), 18 Hemoglobin machines (52) and special Laboratory refrigerators (51).
Ms. Hawa Kisusi, Community Home Based Care Manager reports that about 2,160 volunteers for home based care services were trained. These volunteers visit clients at their homes and provide counseling, care and treatment services and referrals to CTC. With these services, volunteers trained by TUNAJALI currently reach 39,155 clients.
To assist PLIHV to live positively, TUNAJALI has also introduced them to self-reliance through income generating activities (IGA) and Savings and internal lending communities (SILC). Currently there are 323 SILC groups with a total membership of 8,289 and a total savings amounting to 859,232,464 shillings.
The Strategic Information Director, Mr. Sima Mwiru, reports of significant reach to PLHIV that now receive HIV care, treatment and support services at the 173 health care facilities supported by TUNAJALI. By June this year the cumulative number of PLHIV ever on Anti-Retroviral Treatment (ART) was 102,630, and 83,820 PLHIV were currently on pre-ART since their immunity and clinical status was still good and 62,476 PLHIV (equivalent to about 20% of national figure) were on ART.