511 CLAAHA Participants Graduates

By Simon Liseli

About 511 Community Led Action against HIV/AIDS (CLAAHA) participants in Caprivi graduated on June 8, 2012 after completing their twelve (12) modules.
This is the second graduation to be hosted after following another ceremony that saw 638 participants receiving qualification sin social behaviour change communication, last year September.
The CLAAHA prevention program was officially launched in December 2009 with the objective of increasing the percentage of household, youths and the most at risk populations to understand their personal risks of HIV infection.

The program also aims to assist communities to adopt preventative measures to protect themselves with ultimate aim to reduce the prevalence rates amongst the targeted people and help in the national efforts to fight against HIV/AIDS.

CLAAHA programme was funded by US President’s Emergency Plan for Aids Relief (PEPFAR) through USAID (United States Agency for International Development) facilitated by Pact Namibia.
Mr. Victor Munsu, the founder and the Managing Director for Caprivi Hope for Life (CHFL) expressed that the result of the programme and the impact on the people it has touched, falls inline with the CHFL’s motto in the communities of ‘facilitating them to identify and address their problems’.

: CLAAHA graduates with their facilitators posing for a picture at Ngweze Community Hall on 8 June 2012.
The Caprivi region’s prevalence currently stands at 3.8% after it rose from 31, 7% in 2008 to 35, and 5% HIV prevalence as per the Ministry of Health and Social Services sentinel survey report of 2010.

According to Munsu the programme awaits a roll out funding and since it has become a model the programs shall be implemented to other regions by other organisations with CHFL taking the technical lead.
The CHFL, a local established non-governmental organization which is implementing prevention programs in 3 communities, and CLAAHA prevention is well in communities and enrolled 6412 participants.

The household participants were 1626.Youth participants were 298 , while the PLWHA participants were 173, MARPS (fishermen, fish vendors and vulnerable girls) were 3378 and men were 937.
The CHFL program approach is to involve community members through contact and face to face sessions to provide HIV education, awareness, referrals for other services, and empowering the PLWHA with treatment information and to reduce re-infection cases defaults and encourage adherence to ARVs.

“The only challenges faced by the programme include transport, funds and distance from the catchment areas of programs.
Regional Council Chairman and Councillor Hon.Raphael Mbala expressed that the lack of participation of leadership and communities not joining hands to fight HIV/AIDS, is the reason of the escalating prevalence rate.

Hon. Mbala called for concerted efforts and support by all sectors of society to ensure the reduction of the prevalence and well wished the newly graduated participants to be drivers of the epidemic to make use of the skills, information and share it with fellow family members.

“We recognise and appreciate the good efforts which (CHFL) is putting in the fight against HIV/AIDS as well as those of other organisations. I am also reliably informed that there has been progress in communities as per meetings” he said.

Councillor Mbala advised that the participants also share their newly acquired knowledge to educate others in their communities saying “it is time to encourage social behaviours change among people and time for change.” he furthered.





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