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Empowerment of users for an improved quality of HIV care in Sierra Leone


On site Rokupa 2017


In Sierra Leone, only 33 % of patients needs in terms of antiretrovials treatments are covered, and only 15 % for childrens. People living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) are low involved with desicions concerning their rights and their health, because of the lack of knowledge and communication with health professionals.Support groups to PLWHA are suffering from weak capacities, as well as the national network PLWHA Nethips that cannot adequatly fulfil its roles in coordination, advocacy and capacity developpement of its affiliated groups. Moreover, the health system is deficient concerning human ressources which are underqualified, caregivers with negative attidute towards the PLWHA and a high rate of lost to follow-up. It is crucial that we also emphasize the context of the Ebola epidemic. That crisis highlighted the need to strengthen the capacities of PLHIV and of civil society in order to ensure continuity of care.

Startup: January 2016

Area of Intervention: Sierra Leone

Budget: 1,487,988 €

Funding source(s): AFD, the Government of Paris, and the Bettencourt Schueller Foundation (currently funding research jointly)

Beneficiaries: NETHIPS (Network of HIV Positives in Sierra Leone)


To help strengthen civil society and encourage the people of Sierra Leone to exercise their right to health

Empowering users for quality, patient-centered care in three districts (Urban West, Rural West, and Port Loko) in Sierra Leone.


Technical assistance / Training / Community Support / Advocacy

Supporting Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV)

  • Provide training and support for NETHIPS to help it:
    • Develop and implement its strategic plan
    • Evaluate the needs of support groups for PLHIV, strengthen their capacities, and provide them regular support
    • Promote respect for the rights of PLHIV and fight stigmatization and discrimination
  • Train leaders of support groups for PLHIV (raising awareness of how to protect against the Ebola virus)
  • Support implementation of the treatment access Community Observatory


Support health care professionals

  • Monitor and advocate for maintaining supplies of Ebola protective equipment in HIV care centers. Support the implementation of precautionary measures by health care providers in HIV units.
  • Evaluations / Needs analysis / Participatory diagnosis
  • Enhance the skills of caregivers to work with adult and pediatric patients and in PTMCT
  • Support health care organizations
  • Provide support in the form of equipment and consumables
  • Implement programs to search for patients lost to follow-up
  • Prepare observational aids for patients and patient support groups
  • Strengthen the capacities of health advocates for PLHIV


Support national institutions

  • Technical assistance to:
    • Update national care protocols
    • Implement option B+ for the national PTMCT program
    • Help district pharmacies manage stocks and supplies
  • Make local health care officials aware of how to incorporate HIV in their routine activities: provide joint on-site training and supervision.
  • Advocate for incorporating HIV care in training courses for doctors and nurses
  • Carry out funding activities


Credits: translated by Stephen Volante of Translators without Borders



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