Communities Acting Together to Control HIV (CATCH)
Humana People to People has implemented a community-based approach since 2015, with the main aim of controlling HIV at community level. The CATCH approach showed the communities’ competence in assessing their own situations and driving locally owned solutions. It further assisted communities on how to prioritize for actions such as wellness days where various illnesses such as hypertension, blood sugar, breast cancer, HIV and TB were screened for and tested.
Through CATCH, schools were visited to address issues around teenage pregnancy and alcohol abuse and also facilitated the erection of backyard gardens to ensure healthy eating. The CATCH model provided the community a window of opportunity to request for services and greatly improved service uptake in the community. Through this initiative spearheaded by community local leaders, health facilities recorded improved uptake of HIV testing which came along with signs of improved treatment adherence.
The communities also realised that there was reduced stigma and discrimination amongst themselves, as people disclosed their HIV status in public and would volunteer to give testimonies during public meetings, as a way of encouraging those that may be facing challenges. All these achievements were results of the actions taken by the communities to address their concerns. Communities owned the CATCH approach to ensure sustainability and communities acting as agents of change. Communities were actively engaged in the process through household visits, which are key to this approach.
The household visits also assisted to unearth community concerns; drive the approach; implement actions that promote community self-assessment and action planning.In June 2019, realizing the transformative power of the CATCH Strategy, communities in the South East held a knowledge fair as a way of giving feedback and show case what CATCH had achieved and also to influence other communities to adopt and implement the model in their communities.
The Knowledge Fair was graced by the UNAIDS Executive Director, Ms. Gunilla Carlson, who appreciated the efforts made by the South East communities and Local community leadership in their community- based response to HIV and AIDS.The project also took part in the “The 2019 World AIDS day” whose theme was ‘COMMUNITIES MAKE THE DIFFERENCE’. The commemoration was unique in that it highlighted the vital and varied contributions that communities made throughout the year as responses to the fight against the spread of HIV in the country.
Articles from our CATCH program activies
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Humana People to People (HPP) worked closely with the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW), Public health Services, District Health Management Teams (DHMT’s) and Health…