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Prevention and support for the treatment of sex workers and their clients in Niger

NIGERSTRENGTHENING SYSTEMS AND HEALTH SERVICESCAPACITY BUILDINGHEALTH SERVICEGOVERNANCE AND HEALTH POLICIESHIV / AIDS

Context

This project, which forms part of the World Bank-funded global project MARP (Most At-Risk Populations) in Niger, aims to improve the access for key populations in the country to services used in the fight against HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Today in Western and Central Africa, sex workers and their clients constitute the key group affected by the HIV epidemic. It is essential to acknowledge the issue and implement specific and adapted strategies in order to develop health-based schemes of education that target the particular needs of these groups. A distinctive approach is needed for the detection and screening of HIV/AIDS, the access to and availability of treatment and the struggle against discrimination that faces these populations.

 

Start date: January 2015

Project area: Niger

Budget : €85,000

Financial source: World Bank

Beneficiary: CISLS (Coordination Intersectorielle de Lutte contre le Sida, a Nigerien organisation for the prevention and monitoring of HIV/AIDS/STIs and the coordination of HIV response)

 

Objectives

To increase access to HIV/AIDS and STI treatment services for sex workers and their clients in the Agadez and Tillabéri regions of Niger.

 

Activities

Solthis has been brought on board to implement this project in the Agadez and Tillabéri regions as part of a consortium with the American non-governmental organisation (NGO) PSI (Population Services International), and the local associations ANBEF (Association Nigérienne pour le Bien-Être Familial) and Lafia Matassa. The following activities have been carried out by the consortium:

Preliminary Studies

  • Analysing documents (using reports, studies and surveys in line with the objectives)
  • Mapping the sex workers in the areas
  • Focus groups with sex workers to finalise the actions to be carried out
  • Identifying and developing community volunteers and peer educators in the centre of the target groups, on the basis of the selection criteria defined by the beneficiaries;

Prevention and detection

  • Awareness activities with the sex workers and their clients, such as group therapy sessions, educational talks and conferences, individual interviews and the production and distribution of educational material (leaflets, posters)
  • Awareness workshops concerning bar owners
  • Organising a voluntary screening for sex workers and their clients
  • Creating non-traditional distribution points for condoms and modifying existing distribution points (cattle markets, night markets, crowds linked with seasonal workers, oil tankers/rigs, etc.);

Capacity building

  • Increased capacity to reach communities (training and education, increasing availability of tools and services
  • Increased capacity of public health providers to accommodate sex workers and their clients, distribute services packages and support with treatment and socioeconomic status and health
  • Increased capacity of local associations to welcome and help sex workers
  • Organisation of a project with various actors having a role in responding to the needs shown by the sex workers and their clients (administrative, religious, cultural, traditional, representation of civil society, etc.);

 

Results

  • 840 sex workers and 540 clients directed towards care and treatment services
  • 18 support groups and 5 revenue-generating activities (AGRs) created
  • 10 sex workers involved in the setting up and in the financial management of the AGRs

 

 

This English translation has been possible thanks to the PerMondo project: Free translation of websites and documents for non-profit organisations. A project managed by Mondo Agit. Translator: Peter Bryant ; Proofreader: Matt Hattam.

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