Corridors of Hope Project The Corridors of Hope (COH III) project that was implemented through the ROADS II/Nairobi program was aimed at reducing the spread of HIV in border and transportation corridor communities by targeting traditional high-risk groups; populations at higher risk of HIV exposure whose members may have unprotected sexual relations with individuals who were otherwise at low risk of HIV exposure; and the general population residing in these communities. Through its innovative approaches, COH III provided comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention services and improves linkages and referral networks. These approaches include:
Provision of HIV testing and counseling through static centers, mobile facilities and door-to-door outreach
Integration of sexually transmitted infection and malaria screening and treatment, family planning services, and tuberculosis case detection and referral of suspected cases
Behavior change interventions through participatory learning methods
Economic strengthening activities through group savings and loan associations
ZHECT’s role in the project was to provide the overall administrative and management responsibility of all the sites in which the project is being implemented. The sites that were mostly border towns included Livingstone, Kazungula, Solwezi, Kapiri Mposhi, Chipata, Chirundu, Nakonde, Chililabombwe, Katete and Sesheke. Apart from the mandate of managing the sites, ZHECT was also responsible for providing HIV counseling and testing, STI diagnosis and treatment as well as Social behaviour change communications (SBCC) interventions.
Support to HIV/AIDS Response (SHARe) ZHECT together with JSI implemented the Support to HIV/AIDS Response (SHARe) which was a Leadership project that was aimed at strengthening and expanding HIV /AIDS Workplace programs. The purpose of the project was to contribute to the improvement of the health status and general wellness of employers, employees and spouses/partners of the workforce in the businesses and informal sector through strengthening and expanding HIV /AIDS Workplace programs. ZHECT’s mandate in the SHARe project was to ensure that communities affected by HIV/AIDS access more effective, gender sensitive, and high-quality HIV and AIDS prevention programs, including Testing & Counseling (TC). This was being achieved through implementing effective workplace-based programs by engaging the private-sector leadership and their surrounding communities. ZHECT’s project activities hinged on building the capacities of workplaces and surrounding communities to respond to their specific HIV/AIDS and other health related challenges. This was being done through engaging the trained staff from partner organizations to providing peer education to their co-workers, families as well as members of surrounding communities.
Zambia Prevention Initiative (ZPI) ZHECT’s task in the ZPI Project was to ensure that communities affected by HIV/AIDS access more effective, gender sensitive, high- quality HIV prevention programs, including T&C. This was being achieved by implementing effective workplace-based programs by engaging the private-sector leadership and their surrounding communities through the social mobilization process. The ZHECT activities aimed at strengthening and expanding HIV /AIDS Workplace programs in order to contribute to the improvement of the health status and general wellness of employers, employees, their families and the surrounding communities in the formal sector. The activities focused on building the capacities of workplaces and surrounding communities to respond to their own specific challenges. This was done through training of various cadres including Behaviour Change Promoters and Peer Educators. These cadres in-turn shared information with co-workers, family and church members and members of surrounding communities. ZHECT was also responsible for interventions aimed at HIV and AIDS Prevention for Affluent Zambians. The Zambia Health Demographic Survey of 2007 did bring to the fore the fact that HIV incidence has been increasing among the well educated and well to do Zambians. There was therefore, need to have targeted interventions for this particular target audience, particularly with regard to countering the current acceptance of Multiple Concurrent Partnerships. The affluent needed to be helped to understand the impact of risk behaviors on their societal status and their families, as well as to engage them as leaders in changing social norms. ZHECT facilitated discussions with Affluent Zambia in various topics that included the negative effects of concurrent multiple partnerships, gender based violence as it relates to HIV transmission, dangers of alcohol abuse, importance of correct and consistent condom use as well as the importance of counseling and testing among others. The discussions were facilitated through workplaces and other fora such as golf clubs, professional associations and rotary clubs.
Partnership for Integrated Social Marketing (PRISM) In February 2009, ZHECT entered in to an agreement with Society for Family Health (SFH) to partner in the implementation of the Partnership for Integrated Social Marketing (PRISM) Project.
The goal of partnership was to increase utilization of community-level interventions aimed at reducing HIV transmission in Zambia through evidence based programming as well as to conduct social marketing of the SFH products that included, Maximum and Care Condoms, Clorin, Insecticide Treated Mosquito nets (ITNs) and Family planning products. The ZHECT/SFH partnership was aimed at reaching the following objectives:
Increase awareness of and demand for health products and services to emphasize prevention of childhood illnesses, unintended and unsafe pregnancies, HIV infection and STIs, and malaria and to build an informed and sustainable consumer base.
Develop the ability of the commercial/private sector entity to produce and market at least one currently socially marketed health product or service in a sustainable, self-sufficient manner.
Integrate service delivery and other activities, emphasizing prevention at national, provincial, district facility and community levels through joint planning with GRZ and other partners.
Build capacity in communities affected by HIV/AIDS through the training of Behaviour Change Promoters (BCPs) to access more effective, gender sensitive, higher-quality HIV prevention programs, including testing & counseling (TC), male circumcision (MC) and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV
Design efficient sustainable, locally owned social marketing systems to increased visibility of the socially marketed products such as maximum and care condoms, clorin, ITNs and Family Planning Products.
Provide community- based family planning and reproductive health services as an adjunct to effective prevention of HIV.
ZHECT’s mandate in the project was to mobilize carders (BCPs) from the target communities and engage them in the conducting of behavior change interpersonal communication (IPC) and outreach, as well as in the promotion, sales and distribution of socially marketed products and services in order to make the products and information on the products more easily accessible in peri-urban and urban communities. Among the areas of promotion that ZHECT was responsible for were; the female and male condoms, use of Clorin, modern methods of family planning, use of Long lasting-insect treated nets (LLIN) and making referrals for the use of SFH CT and MC services. ZHECT also played a particular role of improving coverage and access to condoms in high risk settings by opening nontraditional outlets (NTOs) in such places as bars, guest houses, brothels, motels, restaurants, hair salons and other locations where the target groups meet, through the distribution of male and female condoms in these places.
Comprehensive Sexual Education Project-UNFPA Funded In this project, ZHECT worked with UNFPA through several schools in Luapula, Western and North-western provinces to recruit and train teacher champions and pupil peer educators to reach their peers with interactive sex education learning. The primary message of the project was that youth in-schools and out of school could and should postpone sexual activity in order to prevent themselves from having unwanted/unplanned pregnancies and early marriages. The project taught participants about sexual health so that they could be able to make responsible, well-informed decisions about their personal behaviours. It also discussed delaying of sexual debut and the importance of accessing sexual and reproductive health services as some of the several choices for youth that were based on the idea that young people will make reasoned decisions, given a sufficient base of information. Over the period of 1 year in the schools that the project was being implemented, the number of pregnancies dropped on average from about 30 to less than 10 during the period under review. There was institutionalization of the project in the schools as trained teachers were able to retrain other new incoming students after acquiring a trainer of trainer’s training skills. This entailed continued program implementation beyond the life of the initial project. Furthermore, there was increased advocacy against teenage pregnancy among all stakeholders in the community. The formative research conducted in trying to understand the determinants of teenage pregnancy were shared among all stakeholders which informed future designs of the projects related to teenage pregnancy in in-school youth.
Proudly Kafue Girl-Funded by Hivos Due to the prevailing situation of high levels of school drop-outs stemming from unwanted pregnancies, early marriages and HIV/AIDS, ZHECT with funding from HIVOS and in partnership with the Ministry of Education implemented an ambitious project dubbed ‘Proudly Kafue Girl’ in Kafue district of Zambia. ‘Proudly Kafue Girl’ was an innovative project that was aimed at contributing to the empowerment of young vulnerable girls through the implementation of interventions around Sexual, Reproductive and Psychosocial Health of young girls and boys. The project was introduced to empower young vulnerable girls and to change the attitudes and behaviors of girls in the urban and rural areas of Kafue District in Lusaka Province.
Research has shown that early sexual debut puts young people at an increased risk of HIV acquisition. Early sexual debut lengthens the potential period of exposure to HIV, typically results in a higher number of lifetime sexual partners, and increases the risk of unintended pregnancy and cervical cancer. In addition, premarital sex has a negative impact on the physical health of adolescents, and typically hurts girls more than boys. The project was premised around the realization that although sexually active young men are at risk of acquiring STIs including HIV, females (especially younger girls) were more vulnerable to these infections because of their biological makeup. Girls are also more likely to suffer physical abuse in sexual relationships, and research indicates that adolescent females have a higher probability of contracting an STI when their partner is substantially older. The project recognized the fact that young people just like everyone else have the right to education, information and services that could protect them from harm including unwanted pregnancies, forced marriages, HIV/ AIDS, and other STIs.
ZHECT/SUPPORT Female Condom Project Working with the Female Health Company the manufacturers of the second generation female condom (FC2), ZHECT through the “SUPPORT Project” implemented a Female Condom Education and Distribution Project in selected districts of Eastern, Western, Southern, Northern and Lusaka Provinces of Zambia. The aim of the project was to increase the up-take and use of the Female Condom which has been found to be the only available woman controlled product that offers triple-protection i.e. against unwanted or unplanned pregnancies, HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections including cervical cancer.
Local Partner Capacity Building Project The Zambia Health Education & Communications Trust (ZHECT) entered in to agreement with the USAID funded project-Local Capacity Building Project (LPCB) to implement two components of the project.
Delayed Sexual Debut (DESED) This was a service delivery component in which ZHECT was mandated to carry out Interpersonal Communication (IPC) among the youth aged between 9 and 19. The project was aimed at delaying sexual debut among both in-school and out of school adolescents in Zambia. This project was being implemented in 3 districts of Kafue, Lusaka and Mumbwa.
Capacity Leader Component The second one was the Capacity Leader component of the LPCB Project. In this component, ZHECT was contributing to the goal of Local Partner Capacity Building Project (LPCB) by improving the efficiency, effectiveness and overall capacity of AIDS service organisations to ensure quality HIV and AIDS service delivery in Zambia. ZHECT achieved this goal by working closely with the identified LPCB partners in Northern and Muchinga Provinces, by as much as possible striving to narrow the capacity development gaps that were identified in these organisations.
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