HELIN Project Related Experience, Donors, funding level and Achievement

Given the significant leadership roles of HELIN in health and development issues, our team has been mobilizing communities through aggressive HIV Prevention Sensitization programs, support group and community dialogue meetings where we create demand for services and provide health education on HIV/TB, Malaria, HCT, positive living, maternal and infant mortality prevention and treatment at the facility and community level.

Home Base care/ Treatment Adherence Support (Global Fund Round 9) Project

With funding support from Network of People living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria(NEPWHAN) through Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH), HELIN is implementing Home Base Care/Treatment Adherence Support Project. The project scale-up gender-sensitive HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment, and care and support interventions for adults and children in Nigeria and to contribute to the restoration of public confidence in primary health care services in Nigeria, and thereby reverse declines in the utilization of primary health care facilities. The SDA 11 “Basic care and support for chronically ill, HBC/Adherence Support” is meant to increase access of PLHIV to adherence and psychosocial support services in the 21 high burden states which will contribute towards reducing HIV related morbidity and mortality. Through this project, HELIN is helping the communities in Akwa Ibom State to understand the nature of HIV/AIDS and the factors that are contributing to the spread of the virus. Our dialogue and sensitization meetings draws as many participants as possible to exchange face to face information, share personal stories and experiences in a honest manner. We use the opportunity to clarify viewpoints on Prevention of Mother to Child transmission (PMTCT) and Ante-Natal care, Early Infant Diagnosis (EID), Stigma reduction and support for persons living with HIV/AIDS. This continuous awareness creation and education program in the communities has really increase the uptake of PMTCT services in the facility we are working and the facilities we referred client to. Presently we have 3 adherence counselors who are working in Anua general Hospital and one “mentor Mother” that are providing PMTCT and referral services at the Ante-natal unit and provide information to client receiving Antiretroviral treatment in the hospital on positive living, psychosocial and adherence counseling support. We conduct community and home visits to track patients who have missed appointments or to provide adherence support. We also provide a critical link to the community on issues of disclosure, safer sex, stigma reduction, and improving adherence to care and treatment.
We organize monthly support group meetings and also provide daily counseling services to people living with HIV(PLHIV). During our meetings, we provide treatment adherence and compliance and positive living , health talks which ranges from HIV infection, reinfection,basic hygiene, positive living procedures and guidelines etc.
In addition, HELIN work within a specified Global Fund Round 9 Cluster and in selected communities within the Cluster, and work to achieve the objectives of mobilizing Communities and families to reduce stigma and discrimination against PLHIV with a view to increasing demand for Counseling and Testing and other available HIV/AIDS services (PMTCT, ART, EID, HIV/TB Co-infection, Stigma reduction) within the specified Cluster and neighboring Communities. We work within the communities and the ART Site, the HCT Site, and other community based organizations (CBOs) which make up the cluster.
HELIN provide referral services and also develop linkages with other organizations and facilities that are providing other support services in the areas of TB and Malaria,obstetric surgery, Income Generating Activities, educational support, OVC care etc.

Demand Creation for Maternal and Child Health and Institutional Strengthening of HELIN

The Bridging Gaps for Vulnerable Groups (BGAPS) Project is an innovative intervention to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV (PMTCT) ,provide Ante Natal Care (ANC) and make referrals for Family Plannig where they are readily available using Society for Family Health (Women’s health Project). The project was funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Presidents Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through Management Sciences for Health (MSH) Program to Build Leadership and Accountability in Nigeria Health System (PLAN Health) project. The objective of the project was to create demand for PMTCT and ANC education and services in Edikor, Ekim , Uboro and Eyokponung of Udung-uko LGA in AkwaIbom State by January 2015.The target for the project was 320 in the target communities and it was a one year project that commenced on 10th of February and ending on the 31stof January, 2015, we are awaiting final project completion monitoring and evaluation. Our key intervention includes: Advocacy Visits: We visited key stake holders in the communities to involve them in our activities.Community Involvement: We trained community indigenes as volunteers, Market Sensitization: Regularly sensitize the masses at the market on the HCT, PMTCT and HIV/AIDS. Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) and Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) service integration: Created a platform for Traditional Birth Attendants and the PHC staff to work together. Routine TBA clinic visits: Carried out monthly visits to the TBAs to sensitize their clients and to ensure referrals are made regularly to PHC.Male and Mother in-law Involvement: Reached out to men of reproductive age and mother inlaws during the men’s council meeting and women’s meeting to sensitize them on the need to accompany their wives and daughter in laws for ANC. Distribution of Incentives/ Baby care Kit: HELIN provided baby care kits/incentives for the pregnant women and their spouses that attended ANC to motivate increase uptake of ANC services in the PHC.
Funding Level: N3,120,000. Key Achievements
— Created a sense of health awareness amongst pregnant women and general population in the community
— Increased the number of pregnant clients that visit the health facilities in the communities (from 134 to 403 for HIV counseling and testing and 14 to 110 for Antenatal care attendance)
— Encouraged TBAs to work in partnership with PHC and this resulted in the TBA’s and PHC’s working hand in hand to achieve the same goals
— Educated the TBAs on safe delivery practices and how to identify cases for referral to PHCs.
— Created the demand for PMTCT and ANC services at the PHC which in turn increased service delivery.
l Supported TBAs in forming an association to foster a better relationship among TBAs and improve their services.
l Improved and increased male and mother in law involvement in PMTCT and ANC (from 0 to 52 partners/spouses)

Voices Within : An innovative Stigma Reduction Project

Voices Within is a two year project supported by African Women Development Fund (AWDF), strengthening the skills of women living with HIV, Ministry of Women Affairs, Support Groups, Human right and Protection Agency ability to respond to HIV/AIDS in their communities by providing quality stigma reduction programs and integrating sexual reproductive health to promote the general well -being and self esteem of women living with HIV. In addition the program is building the skills of service providers, volunteers and community leaders to establish networks that link and promote support services for women living HIV/AIDS. Under the project HELIN collaborates directly with an array of local small to mid-size community-based and faith-based organizations, including networks of PLWHIV and support groups to deliver and promote services that will reduce stigma in the communities. The program is developing linkages and networking among identified key actors on HIV related issues and ensure that stigma is reduced to the barest minimum in Abak, Uyo, Ika, Etim Ekpo in Akwa Ibom State. Our work and partnership effort in the communities has stimulate discussions on pertinent issues in the community which ranges from HIV, maternal and child health, family Planning, HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria, water ,sanitation, hygiene etc to other developmental issues and create demand for services and make referral to where services are available and accessible during our community dialogue meetings. We partner with Akwa Ibom State Agricultural Development Project to train women in different Income generating activities and currently the women are running their village savings and loans association (VSLA).

Donors: African Women Development Fund

Funding Level: N5,200,000
Key Achievements

  • Developed advocacy tools for stigma reduction in collaboration with Ministry, Department and Agencies (MDA).
  • Increased the number of women living with HIV/AIDS Advocacy groups in Akwa Ibom State.
  • Advocate for reduction of stigma and discrimination against women living with HIV/AIDS
  • Trained 25 Key Actors (Ministry of Women Affairs, NAPTIP, Lawyers ) on Stigma Reduction
  • Trained 25 Women living with HIV/AIDS on Human Right, Gender
  • Trained 23 women on Income generating Activities (Soap making tye & dye etc

HIV Prevention for in-school youth

HELIN is working in collaboration with Society for Family Health to conduct HIV Prevention program for in School Youth at Government Technical College, Ukanaoffot Uyo. The aim of this project is to promote sexual reproductive health and HIV /AIDS reduction for in school youth. The program is organized by society for family health to reach out to young adolescent to equip them with the correct information about their reproductive health and HIV/AIDS, so that they can make informed decision based on the information received. The use of life building skills (like, Goals and Goals setting, decision making, values, refusal and negotiation skills) is also incorporated in the program to give the in school youth a sense of direction. Like it is said a man on a mission without a vision is only taking a walk. The program is design to give basic knowledge about HIV/AIDS and its prevention to in school youth and also to keep their minds focus on education and their individual goals.
The program is design for the in school youth to train and mentor themselves under close supervision, through the use of peer education handbooks, drama/dance, games, interactive forums, school rallies, HIV/AIDS club activities and interpersonal communication.
The program is divided into 3 models , namely: Community Awareness , Peer Education and Peer Education Plus

Donor: Society for Family Health (SFH)

Funding Level: N550,000

Achievement:
• Provide HIV prevention activities in schools and communities.
• Coordinate prevention activities for the organization
• Collate and submit report to the
• Trained 150 young girls as Peer Educators
• Reached over 400 young Girls with HIV Prevention, HCT, stigma reduction and PMTCT awareness program.

HIV/AIDS Awareness campaign and training of caregivers and Counsellors on Treatment Literacy and HIV quality service delivery in hard to reach communities in Akwa Ibom State.

This project was supported by African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) in 2009 to promote treatment literacy among people living with HIV as Non adherence to treatment regimen by PLWHIV who are receiving anti-retroviral drugs (ARV) has been identified as a challenge to the success of the national ART programme. Some PLHIV have either developed resistance to first line drug or are dead as a result of non-adherence to treatment. This informed the introduction of treatment literacy activities to contribute to its overall goal. Recruitment and training of volunteers from family, community and support group members is one of the strategies adopted to promote adherence to treatment for PLHIV who are receiving ARV. HELIN adapted a training manual on treatment adherence counseling to build capacity of community members to promote treatment adherence among PLHIV on ARV.

Donors: African Women Development Fund (AWDF)

Funding Level: N2,192,520.00
Key Achievement:
• Conducted Three days training of HIV/AIDS Home Based Care givers and treatment literacy Counsellors for effective service delivery organized in the target communities for 200 family members.
• Procurement of office equipment (Laptop computer, multi-purpose printer and stabilizer) made.
• Identification of volunteers to be trained as treatment counsellors in the community.
• Held advocacy meetings with community leaders in target communities
• Lunched HIV/AIDS awareness campaign in Ibaka, Oron and Ikono in Akwa Ibom State
• Conducted series of Treatment Literacy program f or PLHIV during support group meetings

Care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS and Radio Program

HELIN implemented this project to support Akwa Ibom State Government effort to support formation of support groups in Akwa Ibom State, provide psychosocial support and counseling for PLHIV. During the cause of the project, financial support was provided to sick PLWHA and assist them access services at the health facilities. Assist conduct home visit to sick client and ensure people live a healthy and qualitative life. During the project Radio program was aired weekly and issues discussed ranges from positive living, nutrition, counselling and referral for support services.

Donors: Akwa Ibom State Committee on HIV/AIDS (AKSACA)

Funding Level: N2,500,000
Key Achievement:
• Provided psycho-social and nutritional support to over 150 orphans and vulnerable children including those living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. Formation of support groups across the country
• Conduct monthly support group meetings and counselling sessions
• Formation of Support groups in selected Local Government in Akwa Ibom State.
• Undertake regular monitoring and outreach programmes, seminars, workshops and Health talks for grass-root organisations, schools, and rural healthcare providers in hard to reach communities
• Conducted 12 weeks Radio Programs titled “ the positive world”
• Conduct HIV prevention activities and sensitization program in hot spot areas like Utah Iwa, Ibaka, Enwang, Uyo Motor park etc.

Household Economic Strengthening and Prevention of Mother to Child transmission (PMTCT) Project

The Economic Empowerment and Prevention of mother to child transmission is a five months project that work with communities to improve uptake of PMTCT services at the community level. The project also provided economic empowerment to women through village savings and loans association (VSLA). This strategy is aimed at indirectly supporting vulnerable households through the caregivers. A caregiver who has OVC under his/her care will be enrolled into savings and loans scheme where they will be expected to save and take loans on weekly basis. The SLA, whose activities will be directed by a community, based facilitator, this serves as a platform for economic strengthening as well as learning centres for the caregivers. The project assisted women to start up business and cater for the health, education and other necessary needs of the OVC. Another angle of economic strengthening is that older OVC that are not in school were trained on vocational skills, which helped to mitigate the impact of HIV in the lives of the beneficiary and improved livelihood.

Donors: Association of Women Living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (ASWHAN)

Funding Level: N1,500,000
Achievement
• Win the approval & secure the support of community leaders for the establishment of village savings and loans association in 5 communities
• Establish sustainable community cooperative system in Mbierebeobio,Ikot Akpabio and Mbiayak Uruan Communities
• Document the knowledge base and economic status of women
• Build the skills of members on Advocacy/PMTCT
• Enrolled 200 women living with HIV/AIDS for the uptake of PMTCT services
• Facilitate sustainable qualitative service delivery

Development and Dissemination of Advocacy Materials on Stigma Reduction for Policy Makers in Akwa Ibom State.

The project is a partnership between HELIN and Ministry of Economic Development. The aim of this project is to develop and disseminate advocacy materials to Policy makers on stigma reduction/access to treatment for people living with HIV/AIDS in Akwa Ibom State

Donor: Ministry of Economic Development, Akwa Ibom State

Funding Level: N650,000
Achievement:
• Conducted advocacy meetings with various Policy Makers and community gate keepers in Akwa Ibom State, Government Executives, Members of the House of Assembly, Community leaders, Permanent Secretaries, Commissioners, Local Government Chairmen and wives etc .
• Conduct Advocacy Campaign on access to HIV/AIDS treatment and mobilizing media activism and community participation in stigma reduction.
• Conducted Policy Makers Roundtable Conference in Uyo
• Production and dissemination of Information, Education and Communication (IEC) materials to policy makers in Akwa Ibom state.

HIV Prevention on general population, pregnant women, FSW and out of school youth

The project was a good partnership between World bank through Akwa Ibom state agency for the control to Heal the land initiative in Nigeria to provide peer education to the general population on the knowledge of HIV/AIDS. The aim was to reach three different local governments namely Ika, Ukanafun and Ikot Ekpene on the need to abstain from sex, unwanted pregnancy and the contract of HIV/AID. The pregnant women understood the need to always come for antennal as incentives slippers, pampers and buckets, the slippers was for the men that accompanied their wives to antennal as a means to encourage the men and to also see the need to always visit the hospitals and the health centres with their wives. Female sex workers attended the peer education section and HIV testing and counselling was conducted for them and newly reactive were identified.

Orphans and vulnerable children

HELIN was engaged by Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) on the 4th of September, 2016 with funding support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement the Local Partners for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (LOPIN) Region 1 Project which is modeling inclusiveness in programming for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Akwa Ibom state in accordance with the National Priority Agenda which explains the paradigm shift in programming for OVCs. The key three objectives of the LOPIN Region 1 project includes:-to improve the systems & structures at community, LGAs and State in providing responsive care, protection and support services for Vulnerable children and households, to improve organizational and technical capacity of HELIN to offer services to OVCs and their families and to facilitate HELIN to engage more effectively with LGA and private sector partners (PPP).
The effort which started in September 2015 with the administration of Organizational capacity tool(OCAT) which was used to start the organizational capacity strengthening of HELIN has helped HELIN to achieve significant progress in its development as an organization. In the past one year, ARFH LOPIN Region 1 State office team focus has been on strengthening HELIN capacity through organizational policy development, SOP’s and orientation for staff on how to make use of the policy in the organization. HELIN also benefited from capacity strengthening efforts which includes:- Financial & Grant Management Training, Integrated Gender sensitive, Evidence Based and Age Appropriate Services training, Gender mainstreaming training, Resource Mobilization Training, Child Safeguarding Policy and Application Training, Nutrition, Training and Household Economic Training etc. The capacity building efforts benefited also include on the job mentoring support in programs, Financial Management, Monitoring and Evaluation and general organization management.
During the course of the project implementation, HELIN provided services in the areas of health, nutrition, Psycho-social support, shelter, protection and Household Economic Strengthening (HES) through community volunteers who support vulnerable children and households in their various communities. In the course of the project, HELIN enrolled 11,158 Vulnerable children and 4717 households, provided at least one services to 10,452 vulnerable children. HELIN provided PSS for 12,361 VC, Health to 13501 children, education support to 11941 VC and nutrition support to 13427 vulnerable children. The project supported HELIN through Public Private partnership to provide HTS referral services to 3287 OVC and 1103 caregivers and link 70 out of 98 HIV reactive clients to treatment.
Children and families made vulnerable by reason of being infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Total of 2,813 Households and 5,626 OVCs over 1 year in 1 LGAs and 3 wards in Akwa Ibom State. HELIN was engaged by Association for Reproductive and Family Health (ARFH) on the 4th of September, 2016 with funding support from United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to implement the Local Partners for Orphans and Vulnerable Children (LOPIN) Region 1 Project which is modeling inclusiveness in programming for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Akwa Ibom state in accordance with the National Priority Agenda which explains the paradigm shift in programming for OVCs. The key three objectives of the LOPIN Region 1 project includes:-to improve the systems & structures at community, LGAs and State in providing responsive care, protection and support services for Vulnerable children and households, to improve organizational and technical capacity of HELIN to offer services to offer services to OVCs and their families and to facilitate HELIN to engage more effectively with LGA and private sector partners (POVCs and their families and to facilitate HELIN to engage more effectively with LGA and private sector partners (PPP).
The effort which started in September 2015 with the administration of Organizational capacity tool(OCAT) which was used to start the organizational capacity strengthening of HELIN has helped HELIN to achieve significant progress in its development as an organization. In the past one year, ARFH LOPIN Region 1 State office team focus has been on strengthening HELIN capacity through organizational policy development, SOP’s and orientation for staff on how to make use of the policy in the organization. HELIN also benefited from capacity strengthening efforts which includes:- Financial & Grant Management Training, Integrated Gender sensitive, Evidence Based and Age Appropriate Services training, Gender mainstreaming training, Resource Mobilization Training, Child Safeguarding Policy and Application Training, Nutrition, Training and Household Economic Training etc. The capacity building efforts benefited also include on the job mentoring support in programs, Financial Management, Monitoring and Evaluation and general organization management.
During the course of the project implementation, HELIN provided services in the areas of health, nutrition, Psycho-social support, shelter, protection and Household Economic Strengthening (HES) through community volunteers who support vulnerable children and households in their various communities. In the course of the project , HELIN enrolled 7,402 Vulnerable children and 3,886 households, provided atleast one services to 10,452 vulnerable children. HELIN provided PSS for 9448 VC, Health to 9444 children, education support to 5617 VC and nutrition support to 9085 vulnerable children. The project supported HELIN through Public Private partnership to provide HTS referral services to 3287 OVC and 1103 caregivers and link 70 out of 98 HIV reactive clients to treatment.
HELIN to engage more effectively with LGA and private sector partners (PPP).

Donor: United state Agency for international Development

Currently at HELIN

We are supporting 9,500 PLHIV on ARV treatment, averted 563 new infection, providing 340 initial prevention treatment and 366 repeat treatment for newborn and supporting 3 HIV positive children on treatment