27 September 2018 | Informations
Medication adherence in children living with HIV remains a challenge in Sierra Leone and globally. To address the issue, Solthis, through a concept themed on ‘a fish and its scales' developed an innovative tool to help support drug adherence in children between 5 to 10 years old, taking antiretroviral treatment (ART). The tool has been designed to incite children to take their treatment by colouring the fish with scales at each drug intake, but also to help as an evaluative tool for parents to control their children’s treatment intake.
The ‘fishes' are therefore being distributed to children identified at 6 paediatric HIV clinics established during the course of EMPOWER project. Some of the children who will benefit from the fishes are part of support groups we also support within the Empower project.
« We estimate that up to 200 children will benefit from this intervention, with the hope that assessment of its impact on drug adherence can inform adherence support techniques for children taking life long ART within and beyond Sierra Leone. » Brian Ngwatu, Paediatric Care Manager in Sierra Leone.
Partnership with Nethips vocational center – Sia Nyama
The activity is being carried out with the help of Nethips Vocational Center which is in charge of producing the fishes. Established by the Empower project's key partner, Nethips, the center is place to break stigma barriers and create job opportunities for People living or non-living with HIV.
“Calling on the NETHIPS Vocational Center to produce the adherence fishes for children, is an opportunity for the Empower project to support both PLHIV in their livelihood activities and NETHIPS in its effort for resources mobilization for the center itself”. Isabelle TISSANDIE, Sierra Leone Solthis program Manager.
Read more about the Empower project
The EMPOWER project has over the years worked to address gaps in the needs of the care of People Living With HIV/AIDS through capacity building, quality improvement initiatives at 13 health facilities within Western Urban, Western Rural and Port Loko districts where high HIV burden prevails. The fish initiative is part of this overall plan to improve paediatric HIV quality care within these districts.