The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention away from other health priorities, and poses a serious threat to the HIV/AIDS response in line with EDS 2018. In this light there is need to step up advocacy to access on quality health services and protection of human rights especially for Persons Living with HIV (PLWHIV). To address this challenge, the Cameroon Youth and Students Forum for Peace (CAMYOSFOP) in partnership with UN Women organized a capacity building workshop in Bafoussam on: Improving service delivery to PLWHIV with 20 Community Health Workers drawn from the East, Littoral and West Regions of Cameroon from July 23 to 24 2021.
Given that the Government has adopted a new National Strategic Action Plan on the fight against HIV amid COVID-19 that will run from 2021-2023, participants discussed actions that can be taken to improve the delivery of HIV testing, treatment and care services by providing greater options for differentiated approaches such as, supporting HIV treatment in communities, ensuring that children are diagnosed and treated early, and that viral load treatment monitoring is more accessible, and link between HIV/AIDS and Gender Based Violence issues (GBV). The capacity building provided a platform for Community Health Workers to share experiences and strategized on effective service delivery to PLWHIV amid the COVID 19 pandemic. They equally provided relevant inputs for the production of a service location brochure for PLWHIV in the East, West and Littoral Regions of Cameroon.
Participants also stressed the need to strengthen communication between Community Health Workers and PLWHIV regarding changes in service delivery to PLWHIV amid the COVID 19 Pandemic and increase sensitization within families against the stigmatization of PLWHIV.
Some participants had the following review of the workshop.
The outbreak of the COVID 19 pandemic has greatly affected service delivery to PLWHIV in my community. Through the workshop I have acquired new communication skills that will help me reengaged patients who had stop coming to hospital for their regular treatment since the outbreak of Health pandemic.
Boutouom Odilon, East Region
“I have learned a lot from this workshop which I will implement in my community. Henceforth, I will focus on drug supply outside the hospital facilities since most of the patients have been afraid to collect their drugs from the hospital premises since the outbreak of the pandemic”
Mbah Collette Bonyelle, CHUDEST, Littoral
This activity falls under the CAMYOSFOP/UN Women project on “Improving service delivery to Persons Living with HIV/AIDS, women and adolescent girls in vulnerable and indigenous communities in the East, West and Littoral Regions of Cameroon.”