TUNAJALI’s Back to Care Initiative that was rolled out to Iramba district, Singida region, has brought back to care 97 per cent of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) who had stopped using HIV Care and Treatment Services.
The SEMA Home Based Care Focal Point, Rachel Sedute, says for the implementation of the initiative her CSO was tasked to track 505 PLHIV whose whereabouts were unknown after they stopped to go to Care and Treatment Centres (CTCs) for HIV services.
Rachel says her CSOs used its HIV positive community volunteers, “They know each other because as colleagues they (PLHIV) meet at CTCs making it is easy for them to know those who miss their appointments.”
Names of those to be tracked from Kidaru, Kiomboi, Mgongo, Doromoni, Kisisiri, Ulemo, Misigiri and Ndago CTCs were divided among eight volunteers for follow up. After six months of hard work, they managed to trace whereabouts of all of them.
“It is now established that 197 out of the 505 migrated, while other 112 are dead and other 196 are indeed loss to follow up. Thanks to our volunteers, for doing this tiresome job, they were riding long distances to track them, but because they are committed they have succeeded,” says Rachel.
She says apart from getting those 196, the volunteers managed to bring back to care 190 PLHIVs. “The volunteers are still working on bringing back to care the remaining six,” she says.
Rachel says PLHIVs drop from care and treatment services mainly because of myths about HIV and AIDS,” We will therefore embark on a program to educate them on the issue to bridge the information gap.