From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Society for Family Health (SFH) has trained 57 health workers in Taraba on effective health care delivery for HIV/AIDS positive children.
The state’s Project Manager Mrs Aisha Dadi, who spoke at the end of the exercise which took place in Jalingo on Saturday, explained that the training drew participants from three LGAs of Jalingo, Gassol and Zing.
She said that the SFH has been working in partnership with communities, government, donors and the private sector to achieve universal health coverage and social justice for all Nigerians.
“We deploy health system strengthening and total market approach in a bid to unify the private and public health sectors in achieving the goal.
“The Lsfiyan Yara Project is an intervention that aimed at ensuring paediatric, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers receive quality HIV treatment and care using existing community structure through Community-Clinic-Collaboration” she further explained.
The exercise which is funded by AIDSFONDS and ViiV healthcare in partnership with Paediatric breakthrough partners such as UNICEF, EGPAF and PATA, brought together the ART doctors and their Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) officers as well as the health educators of the three LGAs, she said.
According to Dadi, the workshop was packaged to build the capacity of doctors, relevant healthcare workers and community actors on the UNICEF Paediatric Service Delivery Framework (SDF) to achieve accelerated results.
She further explained that other objectives of the project were to identify children, adolescents, pregnant and nursing mothers who are HIV positive and link them to care.
It was also to ensure that this category of HIV positive citizens continue to have access to life-saving antiretroviral therapy with a view to making those on treatment remained virally suppressed, she said.
She identified some challenges to include unavailability of working tools for health workers, HIV test kits, lack of adequate manpower as, according to her, most of the data entry clerks and M&Es at health facilities were volunteers frequently leave for greener pasture.
She said participants also reported distance from community to facilities as causing a great challenge to clients to adhere to treatment as most of them may not have transportation fares to the facilities for their drug pickups.
Earlier in a goodwill message, the Director-General of Taraba State AIDS Control Agency Dr Garba Dajuma had reassured that the state would continue to provide an enabling environment to ensure the success of all interventions from partners.
He thanked the SFH for its continued support in the training and retraining of health sectors workers across the state and assured them of the support of the Agency at all times.
Our correspondent reports that participants for the three-day training came from the National Paediatric HIV task team, Taraba State Ministry of Health, AET Doctors from Federal Medical Center, Jalingo, Taraba State Specialist Hospital Jalingo, Government House Clinic, Jalingo, Umma Hospital Jalingo, Jinya Hospital Jalingo, General Hospital Zing, UMCH Zing and General Hospital Mutum Biyu.