The Southern African Development Community (SADC) will establish 32 wellness clinics that will be handed over to
12 of its 15 member states by December 31, 2017, a newsletter by the organization reveals on Tuesday.The handover date is also the end of the Global Fund Financial Support and this has been linked to ensure the sustainability of the facilities which SADC establishes through its Secretariat to facilitate implementation of an HIV and AIDS Cross-Border Initiative (CBI) with the support of a Grant from the Global Fund, in 12 SADC member states.
According to the Inside SADC newsletter, the countries of focus are Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
“The overall objective of the CBI is to reduce HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB) and malaria related morbidity and mortality and incidence of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) among mobile populations, especially Sex Workers (SWs), long distance truck drivers (LDTDs), migrant workers and communities around the border,” the newsletter explains.
Services that will be offered in these facilities are; Behaviour Change Communication, Voluntary Counseling and Testing, Sexually Transmitted Infection diagnosis and treatment and Integrated TB/HIV care and community outreach programs.
It is reported that the CBI has so far generated some encouraging results including an increase in the percentage of SWs and LDTDs reporting the use of a condom during their last sexual intercourse and there has also been an upward trend in the number of SWs, LDTDs and community members who tested for HIV and know their results.
“It is anticipated that by 31 December 2017, at the end of the Global Fund Financial Support, the 32 wellness clinics established, will all be handed over to SADC member states to ensure their sustainability,” the reports adds.