Provision of Prevention and Awareness Services among Uniformed Cadres in the Fight against HIV/AIDS in Southern Sudan
IntraHealth worked with the uniformed cadres of police, prison management, wildlife programs, and fire brigades—and the cadres’ families—to raise awareness aimed at preventing HIV/AIDS. After years of civil war, the Government of Southern Sudan has started to rebuild the country's infrastructure, including health care. Concerns about a surge in HIV prevalence have been growing as troops demobilize, displaced persons return home, and commercial traffic from areas of higher HIV rates increases.
IntraHealth had been working with the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) to develop HIV/AIDS programs within the military. This program expanded these efforts to other uniformed cadres by providing HIV/AIDS education and developing counseling and testing programs. After a workshop to sensitize the leadership of the new cadres to HIV/AIDS issues, IntraHealth trained selected medical personnel from the police and prison system as counseling and testing providers. IntraHealth also organized a three-week training of 23 participants from police, prisons, wildlife, and fire brigade as HIV/AIDS educators and focal persons, at the Crop Training Centre in Yei. The aim of the training was to equip the trainees with relevant HIV/AIDS knowledge and skills required to act as HIV/AIDS educators and focal persons.
These HIV/AIDS educators and focal persons can now conduct HIV/AIDS outreach within their respective forces. They can also educate communities on aspects of HIV and referring people to counseling and testing services and treatment services.
IntraHealth worked with the police and prison authorities to develop counseling and testing centers. The Police Hospital in Juba provided a renovated space and the space provided at the Prison Staff Clinic underwent renovation. Through collaboration with the SPLA HIV Secretariat, the project was able to provide HIV counseling and testing to 95 individuals from the Wildlife Service in a mobile counseling setting at the Luri Wildlife Training Center.
Those who tested positive for HIV were referred to the SPLA Bilfam ART clinic for clinical evaluation and CD4 counts. Further review and antiretroviral therapy was available at the Bilfam clinic. Those who did not wish to be enrolled at the Bilfam clinic were referred to Juba Teaching Hospital for the same services.