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Save the Children, DRC

The partnership with Positive Action for Children Fund to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV in the DRC focuses on training peer educators, military and police and works directly with vulnerable families to help increase treatment and support.

What we do

Initiatives supported by the Positive Action for Children Fund focus broadly on prevention of mother to child transmission. Let me show you some of them.

Alice Fay, Save the Children, on innovative ways to prevent mother-to-child transmission

Training of peer educators enables individuals to educate others about HIV itself, as well as HIV-related issues in the community. Training extends to topics such as sexual and gender based violence, gender relations and child rights.

Another initiative we are working on is training of military and police. This programme is designed to increase understanding of sexual violence and its relation to HIV, along with strategies for tackling the situation. We believe this is a particularly innovative new approach, as it recognises the role of men in preventing mother to child transmission.

In terms of supporting local development committees, our recent focus has been on integrating people living with HIV. Introducing confident individuals who are open about their HIV status to the committee helps reduce stigma and discrimination. It helps communities understand what it means to be living with HIV, and eliminates common misconceptions. The programme also encourages children and young people to participate, giving them a voice.

Alice Fay, Save the Children, on helping people to understand HIV in the DRC

One of our most recent initiatives, started in November last year, works directly with vulnerable families to help increase access to treatment and support. The first phase is underway in the form of a knowledge, attitudes and practice baseline survey. The results of this have been quite alarming, with few women, for example, stating that they could say no to their husband for sex. In addition to the survey, we have started working with community and youth groups, looking at awareness around HIV prevention and sexual violence.

We also run more traditional programmes such as distributing condoms, which is done mainly via health centres, pharmacies, hotels and markets.

 

Key Facts

Project: 
Developing community level support for families affected by HIV in Masisi territory on North Kivu Providence, DRC

Run by:
Save the Children

Region:
Democratic Republic of Congo

Population:
Mixed, focus on mother to child transmission

Challenges:
Stigma and discrimination, gender based violence, sexual violence

Activities:
Training programmes, development committee support, research