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HFFG under the USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project advocates for ART unit for Bamiankor Health Centre

Continuous and easy access to antiretroviral therapy is key to the global response to end AIDS. Bamiankor Health Centre in Nzema East District, Ghana was formally a facility that picked up antiretroviral therapy drugs (ARVs) from Axim Government Hospital for HIV positive clients identified within its territory. The facility became inactive for clients due to funds for nurses’ transportation to Axim Government Hospital every month for drugs pick-up. As a result, the few people on treatment at the facility defaulted because they could not also get money for transportation to go for their drugs at Axim.

Due to these challenges, Hope for Future Generations (HFFG) allocated some funds meant to follow-up on defaulters available to facility nurses to pick-up ARVs from Axim Government Hospital, in order to reduce the rate of defaulters in Nzema East District. HFFG staff with the support from USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project also made available extra supply of ARVs to Bamiankor Health Centre from Axim Government Hospital every month to aid newly identified and initiated PLHIV during outreaches.

As a result of this new initiative of drugs pick up to Bamianko Health Centre, all cases identified are initiated the same day due to the supply of drugs from Axim Government Hospital. Highlighting on the aim, clients were also advised to prepare for viral load samples taking which occurs after 6 months of being on medication. The viral load testing is only done at Axim Government Hospital and it is compulsory for all clients to take part to check viral load suppression.

In order to sustain this initiative, HFFG decided to engage facility heads to be able to allocate some funds derived by the hospital to support deliver drugs to other health facilities which may have more PLHIV, but lack drugs for initiation which didn’t work out due to lack of funds.

The effort didn’t end there. HFFG followed up with JSI and Axim ART Centre to facilitate the process of making Bamianko an ART Centre with trained nurses to manage the place. JSI also followed up with the Regional Director of Health Services and the District Director of Health Services for the initiative. Now the dream has become a reality. In this month of April, 2021 Bamianko Health Centre has been declared an ART Centre with trained nurses to manage the place.

All logistics have also been sent to the facility to facilitate the process. Clients under USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project now, other clients and future ones in and around Bamianko ART Centre will have easy access to their medications to prevent defaulters and lost to follow up (LTFU). This in the long way will contribute to effective case management and viral load suppression.

Thanks to HFFG, JSI and USAID Strengthening the Care Continuum Project.