WAAF works in many areas of health care. Although the main areas include HIV and AIDS care, there are many linked health concerns and social issues as well. You can view some of our past achievements here, as well as some of our current projects here.
Health (Prevention and Treatment)
WAAF is one of the few NGOs in Ghana with a fully equipped clinic and an experienced team of medical personnel. This makes WAAF unique since the organization is able to provide the entire spectrum of care ranging from prevention, to treatment, and continuum of care.
The organization continues to focus on health education, healthy sexual practices and lifestyle aimed at improving the overall wellbeing of clients. WAAF continues to offer educational programs on disease prevention, management and offers confidential HIV testing and counselling services for all regardless of race, colour, and sexual orientation.
To ensure retention on the care cascade, WAAF works via various ways. Through collaboration with key organizations and individuals, follow ups at the community level are put in place.
Through medical outreaches including the use of mobile VANs, services including treatment are brought to the doorsteps of people. Working with members of the community such as models of hopes and KP PEs, the trust is there and people are willing to come and remain in care.
Via the onsite clinic, WAAF offers treatment and management for a variety of medical conditions ranging from general medicine to infectious diseases including the provision of antiretroviral medicine. Visit our clinic website for more details
Expressions like “Education is the key to success” and “If you think Education is expensive try Ignorance” stand at the forefront of WAAF’s efforts in Education and Prevention activities.
Educational programs for young people, in and out of school youth as well as adolescents serves as part of our risk-reduction incentives for vulnerable populations. It is essential for young people to be informed about the consequences of an active sexual lifestyle in order to make informed choices.
We started Passion Squad clubs which have and continue to reach out to other students through creative outlets like school club activities, video screenings, and drama pieces in addition to workshops we provide for them.
WAAF seizes any opportunity to provide education to the youth, by setting up tents and kiosks during durburs, football events and festivals to reach out to people with simple but very essential health information that can make a huge difference in their lives.
Areas we focus on are:HIV, TB, Malaria, STIs, Hygiene, Sanitation, Ebola, Bird flu and many more. WAAF also provides training for individuals to become peer educators who help us with providing training and spreading information to more members in various communities.
Nutrition forms an integral part of a healthy life. People living with HIV need good nutrition to ensure they can stay on ARVs and that children can grow up healthy without any developmental issues.
In collaboration with the Ghana Health Services, WAAF offers nutritional support such as fortified Tom Brown, Plumpy nut and other supplements to children and adults at risk of HIV and TB. Clients with low body mass indexes, in particular those under 18, automatically qualify to be enrolled onto nutritional support programs.
In addition, WAAF ensures all its PLHIV and TB clients including pregnant women are provided with multivitamin pills to ensure they get all of the daily needed values of vitamins and minerals.
WAAF has partnered with Vitamin Angels, who have donated Vitamin A for children as well as specific multi vitamins for pregnant and lactating mothers that has helped many women and children have better nutritional statuses.
Finally, WAAF has an in house program called “Healthy Mother equals Healthy Baby”. An initiative developed and supported by its ambassador Stella Lowe of Glad Star Ministries Inc, HM=HB ensures that identified vulnerable HIV pregnant women have access to monthly nutritional packages that support them in staying healthy so as to be able to deliver healthy babies.
Care and Support
Providing long term support and care for vulnerable people such as those living with HIV/AIDS, orphans who have been affected by HIV/AID, PLHIVs infected with TB and/or Hepatitis B or C forms an integral part of the work of WAAF. Examples of support services are:
1. The ALMOND TREE PROJECT
2. THE ORPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN (OVC) PROGRAM
Almond Tree Project
The Almond Tree project started in 2004 with a collective of HIV positive men and women who met under the Almond Tree at the WAAF premises to discuss issues and concerns pertaining to them. Soon, WAAF realized that people living with HIV/AIDS needed sustainable ways of supporting themselves financially aside the medical care they were receiving.
Eventually, this project was developed as a skills-based training program in crafts like beads making, batik/ tye-dye with assistance from the AIDS committee of London, Ontario, through Canadian Crossroads International. WAAF assisted the trainees through the marketing of the products they made either at the shop or as souvenirs to be sold abroad by interns who work or have worked at the clinic.
In partnership with ECLOF, WAAF has also provided start-up capital for some of these trainees. The Almond Tree shop houses most of these items like dresses, slippers, Shea butter, beads, and clothing made by the women and men.
The group has since grown to become income generating, ensuring not only the self-sufficiency for its members, but also providing an avenue for members of the group to receive support and be there for one another in many ways. Today the group has registered itself as a community based organization to enable it access funding to fund some of their own projects. Current membership is of about 30.
Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC)
Since children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV can experience lives full of stress, trauma, and loneliness. Nkabom (or togetherness in the local language) was developed by the West Africa AIDS Foundation to assist and assess the OVCs (orphans & vulnerable children) in Ghana in 2004 with assistance from Ghana International Women’s Club.
For many years, the program provided care for the physical, mental and emotional health of children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV. With the many individuals that have been assisted in terms of financial stability as well as WAAF’s efforts in ensuring children – whether HIV positive or not – are enrolled in schools, the group no longer meets.
However, for those who continue to find it difficult enrolling or staying in school, WAAF continues to assist in times of crises with school fees and other accessories whilst looking for more sustainable ways to ensure caregivers are able to take over at some point. Each year between 5 and 10 children continue to be assisted this way but the project has been currently dissolved.
Human Rights & Stigma Reduction
Stigma and Discrimination against people living with HIV and key populations such as female sex workers and men who have sex with men, reduces access to critical services , adversely affects health outcomes and undermines human rights. As an organization that respects everyone, WAAF is very particular about ensuring the rights of all are observed.
WAAF has zero tolerance to any form of stigma and ensures stigma reduction activities are standard in all project implementations.WAAF’s goal in terms of stigma reduction as well as ensuring human rights are safeguarded is by creating unity and carrying the single message that we the people representing our professions and communities are against stigma.
Capacity Building, Empowerment & Advocacy
Other areas of work includes different approaches in capacity building and advocacy. The experience WAAF has gained during years of operation dictates that if civil society organizations (CSOs) in Ghana want to make any significant impact on the wellbeing of the citizens they claim to be representing or working for, then they must engage with the worlds of politics and public institutions.
CSOs must seek to help less powerful citizens have a voice in the social and political arena. Many groups have been identified as having clear needs but because they have such a significant lack in resources and political power, their needs are often not translated into demand. The role of civil society organizations is to make these groups visible so they are able to participate in the world of politics and influence public institutions to better serve their needs.
As an organization with over 14 years of experience working in the field of infectious diseases in Ghana, WAAF has acquired meaningful experience and in-depth knowledge of these issues that marginalized populations face.
WAAF therefore appreciates the need for inclusion of communities affected by TB in the delivery of TB health care in Ghana and better still empowering them to take charge of their own affairs.