WAAF has been fortunate to have many successful partnerships and thus has several strong achievements in the area of HIV and AIDS and other health concerns. Continue reading to understand some of our key achievements in areas of behaviour, education, treatment, prevention and advocacy. Some of these achievements continue under our current projects too.
1. Behaviour Change Communication
Since 1999, WAAF has reached out to over one million individuals with health prevention and behavioural change messages. Many of them have therefore been able to make informed choices to ensure health and wellbeing. WAAF continues to work towards promoting:
● Enhanced knowledge on HIV/AIDS, TB, STI’s, non-communicable diseases and more
● Changing attitudes and behaviours surrounding infections
● Encouragement to the general population, youth, adolescents and members of key populations about adopting a healthy lifestyle for the prevention and control of Infectious diseases.
Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission started in 2007 with support from the National AIDS Control Programme. Thousands of women have and continue to benefit from this intervention both at the community and clinic levels where women are taken through counselling and testing put on medicines (ARVs) if positive , testing babies as early as six weeks through EIDs, promoting safe breast feeding options.
This has led to an almost 100% protection of babies born from HIV positive mothers since initiation of the program. And WAAF continues to ensure it will do anything to contribute towards eliminating Mother to Child Transmission of HIV.
3. Access to Treatment, Care and Support
Through innovative means, WAAF continues to contribute to making health care accessible to all. Some of the approaches are: Community outreaches, use of Mobile VAN, Working at Drop in Centers, integration of services and strong collaborations with various stakeholders at various levels.
WAAF’s onsite clinic continues to retain a patient cohort of over 100 HIV positive clients. In addition, over 1500 TB patients have received treatment and counselling at the clinic.
4. Access to HIV Testing and Counselling
From inception to date, HIV Testing Counselling (HTC) services have reached hundreds of thousands of individuals from all walks of life and from different age groups. Strategies include community outreach, integration of services, provider initiated counselling and testing, PMTCT, and know your status campaigns.
5. Empowerment of Persons Living with HIV and other vulnerable persons (PLHIV)
WAAF fosters self-sufficiency of PLHIV and vulnerable groups, and invests in enhancing their capacity through various means. Examples are: through skills training in traditional crafts and farming, WAAF seeks to enhance the economic ability of many.
Through capacity building in program management and intellectual skills, WAAF ensures community members themselves are able to stand and speak for themselves about matters that concern them. Through advocacy for representation of community members on decision making platforms, they are able to make their voices heard at the right place.
6. Key Populations (KP), (MSM, FSW, adolescents, young women, prisoners and PWD)
As has been evidenced, AIDS can never be ended without the involvement of all and this is more so for members of key populations. Due to various reasons, they continue to be at higher risk of HIV infection therefore interventions and strategies need to include and involve them.
Through Drop in Centers, outreaches, site visits, Peer Education, mobile health outreaches, WAAF together with community members continues to reach out to members of the key populations on matters relating to health. Over 600 Men having Sex with Men (MSM), 500 Female Sex Worker (FSW), 300 prison inmates, thousands of women and adolescents, as well as a few PWD have been and continue to be engaged.
WAAF also continues to use treatment as a gateway toward greater health education and prevention.
7. Community Outreach
In addition to the many community outreach WAAF conducts to bring prevention and treatment services around CDs and NCDs, WAAF is also seeking to scale these up to include issues such as sanitation, maternal and child health, and first aid techniques.
8. Stigma Reduction
WAAF continues to foster zero tolerance to any form of Human rights violation including HIV related stigma and discrimination. PLHIVs, MSMs, FSWs, health care workers, the general population have all been involved in one way or another by WAAF in the area of stigma reduction.
Worthwhile mentioning is the demand creation of the Discrimination Reporting System housed and managed by CHRAJ where WAAF conducted specific trainings for MSM, FSW, PLHIV and service providers on the existence, purpose and use of the platform.
WAAF also continues to promote the use of the platform via training workshops, peer education, at the clinic level and via one on one interaction. WAAF is also one of the few organizations that is GESI focused and continues to ensure member of the community and PLHIV are employed in the organization.
9. Hospice / Home Based Care
With an onsite health service delivery facility which started out as the only Hospice Center in Ghana, International Health Care Centre (IHCC) chalked incredible results in assisting many PLHIV’s have a dignified death especially during the early stages of the epidemic when Anti-Retrovirus’ were non accessible.
Others passed through hospice care and were able to bounce back to life. Today some hold positions on bodies like Nap+. The center also assisted many PLHIV’s at home where care and comfort was ensured to the very sick.
Support groups benefitted from the trainings from WAAF and IHCC staff and today this has been able to allow for them to pass this knowledge on to others as well as ensure being able to take care of their peers at home.
In 2016, the Ghana AIDS Commission chose WAAF as the organization to provide leadership in the development of the first ever National HIV Home Based Care Training Manual which will be used to train community-level health providers, who will in turn train lower level individuals on how to effectively conduct home based care.