Cambodia is one of the few countries that have been able to reach the 3 by 5 target of having at least 50% of people who need ARV treatment receiving ART treatment. According to the National Centre for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STDs (NCHADS), number of patients receiving ART as of September 2007 was 25,353, including 22,981 adults and 2,372 children (female patients accounted for 50.6%). However, PLHIV/AIDS need not only ARVs but also sustainable food and nutrition. Many families affected by HIV earn low incomes but have greater expenses on daily living that always push the HIV positive people confront with food insecurity. They face increasing difficulties to preserving their health. These constraint demand government, donor agencies, NGOs, civil society and local community take more actions on care and support to PLHIV/AIDS and OVC.
The communities where the CHEC projects are in place are coming up with unique strategies for supporting the PLHIV and empowering them to actively involved in formulating all interventions targeted at them. CHEC has been working in partnership with the government and civil society to involve community opinion leaders, health providers, and representatives of community groups to create an enabling environment for change, reducing the risks of transmission, and halting the spread of HIV/AIDS in Cambodia.
CHEC has been implementing the project in accordance to the National Policy and Priority Strategies for HIV/AIDS and Control in the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The Strategies of the National Strategic Plan are as follows:
1. Increased coverage of effective prevention interventions and additional interventions developed
2. Increased coverage of effective interventions for comprehensive care and support and additional intervention developed
3. Increased coverage of effective interventions for impact mitigation and additional interventions developed
4. Effective leadership by government and non-government sectors for implementation of the response to HIV/AIDS, at central and local levels
5. A supportive legal an public policy environment for the HIV/AIDS response
6. Increased availability of information for policy makers and programme planners through monitoring, evaluation and research
7. Increased sustainable and equitably allocated resources for the national response .
CHEC has been successful in working with community leaders, facilitating the development of an enabling environment, working to increase the capacity of the target groups to address problems. The project listens to the needs of the target groups and is in a position to respond to them. Community Action Groups have been appointed which encourage the target groups to develop their own responses and solutions and provide relevant and appropriate information and resources.
According to the recent HBC/OVC project evaluation has shown that the main achievement of HBC is that it was able to respond to the varied needs of PLHIV and OVC depending on their individual situations. Services provided by HBC staff include home support visits, provision of care, and counselling, and health information, welfare support, assistance in establishing income generation activities, aid in setting up self help groups, and travel support to access various health services (OI/ART, VCT, STI, PMTCT and TB services) as well as Mondule Mith Choy Mith (MMM= Friends help Friends Centers). The HBC project continues to work well inline with MoH Standard Operating Procedures. There remains a strong demand for community HIV/AIDS education and care in the communities. In addition, the HBC project activities have helped to reduce stigma and discrimination toward PLHIV/AIDS patients and OVCs. There is a strong recommendation that the HBC/OVC project should continue and the provision of professional skills to PLHIV so that the community can sustain positive changes enable by HBC/OVC project initiatives. Furthermore, there is needed to expand project capacity to assist with transport and health costs as PLHIV/AIDS patients continue to face difficulties in relation to financial fees for medical check ups i.e.CD4 test costs.
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