|Wise Up quarterly report released|
The quarterly report for July-September, 2014 of Wise Up program - DKT’s generic condom promotion and HIV prevention program implemented by Timret Lehiwot Ethiopia targeting female sex workers, their clients and other most at-risk populations (MARPs) – has been released.
Female Sex workers training, coffee ceremony sessions, Drop-in Centers (DIC) service provision, establishment of referral systems are among the major activities and services launched by the program to prevent HIV/AIDS. The program operates in 28 towns found in all regions of the country.
As sex workers in many places are highly vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) due to multiple factors, provision of trainings for sex workers remains a top priority in the wise up program. The report states that trainings were conducted in all the 32 DICs in this quarter. Thus, sex workers recruited from different venues were trained and certified up on completion of two days trainings. 3,046 sex workers were trained through 126 trainings conducted in the reported period.
Some of the major points covered by the trainings include: appropriate condom use, condom negotiation skills, HIV/AIDS and STIs, reproductive health, challenges and opportunities in the lives of sex workers, safer sex, sharing success stories.
The report states that coffee ceremony sessions have been done twice a month at all DICs. More importantly, denotes the report, the coffee ceremony helps to promote the DICs and the services so that they feel it as their home and build confidence to come into DICs freely. Accordingly, 4,105 sex workers were reported to have participated in 203 coffee ceremony sessions.
A single sex worker may participate in two or more sessions with different topics of discussion. According to the report, alcohol, drug and substance abuse; business skills; personal hygiene and sanitation; myths and facts about HIV/AIDS and STIs; family planning; condom use and harm reduction; positive living; risky behaviors and life skills were the major topics of discussion.
Another one of the activities in the Wise UP program is counseling and referral system. The report states 1,436 sex workers were counseled. Of these counseled sex workers 1,063 were referred to nearby health facilities for different reasons of which HIV Counseling and Testing and Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) treatment account the major reason. Of the referred, 985 were confirmed reaching the referral site.
The 32 Drop-in-centers (DICs) of Timret Lehiwot Ethiopia located in 28 towns in all regional administrations across Ethiopia provided services for 55,008 Female Sex Workers (FSWs) during the reported period. The major services provided by DICs include: resting accommodation, basic literacy, outreach workers, act as a hub for network and referrals to Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), and care and treatments services, personal hygiene services (shower and cloth washing facilities) and as an outlet for condom and IEC material provision.
In dealing with the distribution of IEC and promotional materials, the report states that they were distributed through outreach activities, during trainings and events and in drop in-centers. Accordingly, the report states that 5,691 different Information, Education and Communication (IEC) and promotional materials were distributed to the sex workers and other target groups in the reported period.
With regard to cooperatives, the report states that there were 46 Self Help Groups (SHGs) having 252 members. Of these, it elaborates, 41 are legally registered and engaged in income generating activities which include 14 cooperatives engaging in social marketing (condom sale) as additional source of income. According to the report, the amount of profit that the cooperatives made in the reported period is 79,545 birr. It further states that they saved 74,614 birr while accumulating a total capital of 775,149.14. The report also states that the major challenges faced during the period include: budget and activity cut to address stakeholders and other vulnerable groups, lack of promotional materials, shortage of different IEC materials to be distributed during trainings, delay of budget release from the donor side, and resource limitations to diversify DIC services.
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 October 2014 12:11|