Community health workers reaching remote areas help translate aspirations of ending the AIDS epidemic into concrete results in Africa
Liu Jie still remembers the challenges she faced in the fight against the AIDS epidemic during her stint as a medical volunteer in Nigeria six years ago. Ironically, it was not the lack of medicine or funding that was the biggest hurdle, but the difficulty in effectively delivering the treatment drugs and services.
“We have to know who is living with HIV before we can offer them medical services. This is the first step,” Liu told Funded by Support Health and Education Development, a local non-governmental organization (NGO), Liu arrived in a rural village in the suburb of Kaduna, Nigeria in 2011 and devoted herself to the welfare of women and children who were infected with HIV. Despite the high rate of infection in the area, people were reluctant to get free tests, receive treatment drugs or use condoms for transmission prevention because of the stigma and discrimination leveled against those living with HIV.
Unable to provide effective service delivery, Liu found herself in a predicament. To get around the prob-