Major stakeholders involved in Pediatric HIV Care and Treatment in the Northwest Region of Cameroon have been called upon to implore all strategies to ensure the identification, and linkage to treatment of all Children Living with HIV. This call was made by the Coordinator of the Northwest Regional Technical Group (RTG) for HIV and AIDS during a workshop which took place from April 8-9, 2022 at Nkwen Baptist Center, Bamenda. The purpose of this workshop was for stakeholders to brainstorm on, identify and propose solutions to the various challenges plaguing pediatric HIV care and treatment in the region.
According to the RTG Coordinator, Dr. Tayong Gladys, pediatric HIV care and treatment in the Northwest Region still records low case identification, linkage and viral suppression.
Through group work sessions, the stakeholders brainstormed and identified all the areas of challenges in pediatric HIV care and treatment and their root causes. Some of the main challenges diagnosed included impoliteness of some health personnel to clients, stigma and discrimination in the community, some parents refusing to consent to their children taking ARV drugs, etc.
The facilitators ensured that the various propositions on how to mitigate the challenges identified were borne out of a participatory inclusive discussion amongst the stakeholders. One major recommendation from the workshop was to create community safe space for parents aimed at passing out positive parenting messages.
The various stakeholders have taken commitment to go back and improve on the many weaknesses that were identified. The Children Momentum Project will hence work closely to support these stakeholders keep to their commitment of ensuring all children and adolescents living with HIV have improved quality of life. The workshop was attended by adolescents living with HIV, caregivers/parents, health personnel and some Community Based Organization (CBO).