1,700 children newly accessed HIV services in Kenya – Results from INUKA!

1,700 children newly accessed HIV services in Kenya – Results from INUKA!

In 2019 a community-led initiative to find, test and treat children and pregnant women living with HIV started in Homa Bay, Kenya. The INUKA! programme, implemented by Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya (WOFAK) successfully strengthens existing community structures to support children and mothers in accessing HIV services.

 

Video INUKA! A community-led initiative to find, test and treat children living with HIV

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Results from INUKA! programme

Under INUKA!, 152 community health volunteers were trained on paediatric HIV. Between 2019 and 2021, over 1,700 children were newly enrolled in HIV care. More than 1,900 pregnant women living with HIV were linked to prevention services for their babies. WOFAK successfully formed 9 saving groups for both caregivers of children living with HIV and community health workers. During COVID-19 lockdowns 600 households were supported with food baskets to enhance nutrition for children living with HIV.

“It is the only programme that targeted the age cohort of 0-4, which had never actually been thought of by any other programme. That is why we are giving a lot of importance to this programme and therefore made WOFAK a very valuable partner”, says Steve Amolo of National AIDS Control Council Kenya.

Steve Amolo of NACC picture
Steve Amolo, Regional Coordinator Homa Bay & Migori County National AIDS Control Council
Steve Amolo of NACC picture
Steve Amolo, Regional Coordinator Homa Bay & Migori County National AIDS Control Council

Pay community health volunteers fairly!

Dorothy Onyango, Chief Executive Officer of WOFAK, is proud of what has been achieved. She calls upon all counties in Kenya to reasonably remunerate community health volunteers for their indispensable role in getting children in HIV care. “Follow the example of Nairobi City Council Community Health Services Act, that provides for a monthly stipend and health insurance for community health volunteers. Pay all community health volunteers fairly for their crucial work! Invest in community-based intervention models! Only then can we ensure our children live healthy and wholesome lives.”

“There are still more children outside there to be found” – Margaret, community health volunteer in Homa Bay

Child feeding chickens image Child feeding chickens image

About the INUKA! programme

The INUKA! programme specifically addressed the barriers faced in the community to find and bring to and retain in care children living with HIV, by strengthening community structures and improving links between communities and health facilities. The programme trained 152 community health volunteers on paediatric HIV, set up saving groups providing economic and psychosocial support, organized dialogues and HIV testing in communities jointly with health facilities, traced children and mothers fallen out of HIV care, supported families with kitchen gardens to improve food security and treatment adherence and worked with government to strengthen linkages between community and facility. Early 2019 Aidsfonds and women’s organisation Women Fighting AIDS in Kenya (WOFAK) have started the INUKA! programme in Homa Bay in Western Kenya. In 2022 the programme will be scaled up to Nairobi.

https://aidsfonds.org/work/inuka

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