Community Health Workers
In 2005, SIC initiated a program to train Community Health Workers (CHWs) in villages within Arumeru District. The structure for this program was developed by the members of the communities we work together with. Offering support to people who are HIV positive can help them live longer and improves their quality of life. It also increases the demand for HIV testing and improves the local economy by extending the lives of productive community members. For these reasons, SIC now trains one woman and one man from each village to care for HIV positive individuals in their home. Often times, our CHWs themselves are living with HIV/AIDS.
Community Health Workers begin their training with an intensive seminar. Additional training occurs at regular monthly meetings with SIC Field Officers, and annual retraining seminars. SIC provides CHWs with reference resources, multivitamins, gloves, soap, condoms, scales for weighing patients, and transportation funds to use for helping patients access medical care. CHWs work closely with local dispensaries and their village leaders.
Community Health Workers provide a wide range of services to people living with HIV, and their families. They teach about healthy lifestyle practices, such as good nutrition and sanitation, provide emotional support and drug adherence counseling, encourage safe sexual practices, and help patients obtain antiretroviral therapy (ART) when needed. These dedicated community volunteers also serve as valuable resources for the community at large by spreading accurate information about HIV/AIDS and working to reduce stigma.
If you are interested in making a donation to support the cost of training and supplying our essential community health workers, please visit our Donations page.