The Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) Project has the objective of utilizing existing structures of health service delivery for TB/HIV clients and strengthening these systems to improve as well as bring TB/HIV health service delivery closer to the people who need them.
Together with the National Association of Persons Living with HIV (NAP + Ghana), the West Africa AIDS Foundation (WAAF) was contracted by the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) in 2015 to implement this new project in Ghana. Community System Strengthening (CSS) is a new approach described by the Global Fund that will hopefully better achieve the goal of giving the entire population of TB and HIV access to adequate healthcare as a human right.
The idea of Community Systems Strengthening is not to do business as usual and to rather work outside of healthcare facilities to strengthen communities community systems and build their capacities to be self-sufficient in promoting good health-seeking behaviors, advocating for good education relating to health, and building capacities to be able to take responsibility for creating a stigma- and discrimination-free community.
Under this project, West Africa AIDS Foundation has been engaged to facilitate building the capacity of NAP+ to be a representative body providing leadership and representing a voice for all persons living with HIV in Ghana. WAAF is also championing building community linkages and helping to establish social accountability committees to ensure provision of high quality TB and HIV services at the community levels.
The implementation of the project began in 2015 and progress is being made to enhance social mobilization, coordination and collaboration, the institutional capacity of NAP+ Ghana and also provide a strong avenue for advocacy in improving the quality of health services delivered to PLHIVs across Ghana.
The CSS has three main intervention areas and these are Social Mobilisation, Collaboration and Coordination; Institutional Capacity Strengthening; and Advocacy for Social Accountability.