235319 Guinea Bissau Mobile clinics successfully provide HIV services and train community volunteers and front-line health workers in rural areas of the Bafata Region

Monday, October 31, 2011: 2:48 PM

Cirilo Semedo Tavares Varela , International Program, Plan International USA, Washington, DC
Maria Irene Gome , Health Department, Plan International, Washington, DC
Jillian Scott, MPH , Field Support Unit, Plan International USA, Washington, DC
BACKGROUND: The West African country of Guinea Bissau has an adult HIV/AIDS prevalence rate of 1.8% and 16,000 people are infected with HIV. Less than 7% of Bissau-Guinean population knows at least two HIV transmission routes. PROJECT: In 2008, Plan International, a child-centered community development organization, implemented an 18-month Community Health & HIV Prevention project in 200 villages and 34 schools of the Bafata Region (target population 50,000), which has one of the highest HIV prevalence in the country. The project aimed to improve access to health services through the provision of a mobile clinic and of two VCT facilities, carrying out HIV/AIDS education, prevention, treatment and care services. RESULTS: The mobile clinic visited each community on a regular basis, providing a large spectrum of services: general consultations (for 55 children, 254 men, and 296 women); counseling on HIV and STIs (973 people); and rapid HIV testing on 925 women, men, children and youth, of which 104 were confirmed HIV positive and referred to government health facilities in the city of Bafata (with subsidized transportation costs). Moreover, staff from the mobile clinic carried out in-service training to hundreds of community health volunteers (including members of PLWHA associations) and front-line health workers. CONCLUSION: The mobile clinic was a source of primary health and HIV services in rural parts of Bafata region which otherwise would not have received them. As the result of its success, the government of Japan has recently funded a scaled-up version of this project in the Bafata region.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
To demonstrate the effectiveness of mobile clinics in the provision of HIV/AIDS services and in building capacity for HIV/AIDS programming.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Rural Populations

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Program Implementation
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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