Com­mu­nity health work­ers reach­ing re­mote ar­eas help trans­late as­pi­ra­tions of end­ing the AIDS epi­demic into con­crete re­sults in Africa

ChinAfrica - - Pros & Cons - By Hou Weili

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-

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