HIV/AIDS Programme - visibility
Fantsuam Foundation's mission is to eliminate poverty and disadvantage through integrated development programmes.
Close to 4,500 individuals benefit from Fantsuam's services every year and they recently estimated that over 100,000 people will have benefited, either directly or indirectly, from Fantsuam's Foundation's activities since it was established in Bayan Loco in 2001.
Fantsuam started to partner with the International Center for Aids Care and Treatment Programs (ICAP) for training of staff, provision of HIV testing kits and the provision of funds for program based activities which includes the following.
- HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT): For walk-in clients. Staff from FF also provide an outreach service for local communities. When clients test positive they are referred to the local General Hospital at Kafanchan where they receive free anti retroviral drugs provided by ICAP.
- Home Based Care (HBC): This is for HIV positive clients who are visited at their homes, giving basic nursing care, nutritional, hygiene and drug adherence counselling. Clients also receive nutritional support if required.
- Orphans and Vulnerable Children Services (OVCs): This service is largely comprised of HIV/Aids orphans who are enrolled onto the program. Services include educational, nutritional, psychosocial, medical,legal, shelter support.
- HIV/Aids Awareness program: Takes comprehensive awareness to rural communities about what HIV/Aids is, modes of transmission, prevention, stigma, the HIV window period, HIV/Aids impact mitigation. Staff work closely with community members to educated to overcome dangerous misconceptions about the infection. The ultimate goal of this activity is to achieve stigma reduction and the prevention of HIV.
- Support Group Services: Persons living with HIV (PLWH) are enrolled onto the FF support Group program. Enrolled clients have regular support meetings during which they can share experiences, find solutions to common problems and are encouraged to support each other. Members also receive free medical treatment/management of opportunist infections from the FF's health clinic. the main goal of this activity is to achieve a high level of stigma reduction amongst PLWHs and to facilitate their growth eventually into a self sustaining group.
How and why Fantsuam Foundation got involved
Early in the life of Fantsuam Foundation as an organisation, it was noticed that loan repayment by microfinance clients was very poor (now not the case).
A needs assessment revealed that most clients spent loan money treating their own or a family member's HIV/Aids infection. HIV/Aids was, and still is, a huge problem for this railway- junction rural settlement of Kafanchan.
Loan repayment was crucial to the microfinance scheme at Fantsuam Foundation and so a strategy to provide a program to tackle the HIV/AIDs problem was devised.
- Between 2009-2010 the health clinic at Fantsuam provided medical care to 1,545 people representing 80% growth over the previous year.
- During this same period it's staff visited 18 communities to deliver critical health care messages.
- They delivered SAFE training to 1,200 women of reproductive age and 4,000 men and women over the age of 49
2009-2010 Jan. Fantsuam:
- Provided counselling, testing, home based care and family support for over 500 children, adults and elderly living with and affected by HIV/Aids.
- Developed a new partnership with Faith Alive Foundation which resulted in a donation of food for FF's Orphan's and vulnerable Children and will receive more testing kits in the future.
- Received nutritional support from NEPWAN for the HIV/Aids Support Group members.
- Launched Child Carers project which focused on delivery of Home Based Care (HBC) training and business.
ICAP the main funder of the above activities is in a transitional stage. The organisation is to be taken over by the Nigerian Government. The problem for Fantsuam is that while funding has temporarily stopped the demand for their services has continued to soar. Clients are coming from neighbouring communities. Given FF's good reputation and the scarcity of similar services this has severely strained FF's limited financial resources.
Dadamac is hleping this project to be more visible.