Based on the new orientations of the HIV Free Projects, the cooperative agreement which started in October 2013 ends on September 30, 2019 with much work still left to be done. Hence, the coordination meeting that held on July 20, sought to keep project staff abreast with the current realities, and orientate them on how the future will look like.
According to the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Supervisor, the project has attained only 19% of the general targets with an overall yield of only 1.6% which is even below the national prevalence rate. It is against this backdrop, that the third quarter (Q3) Regional Coordination Meeting of July 20 was convened.
Dr. Albert Bakor, Technical Director said, if the index testers of the region concentrate on offering services to all the 2,695 HIV positive clients who were diagnosed since Q1 till Q4, then all the Index Testing targets will be attained. His analysis also showed that, from Q1 to Q3, about 508 clients have not been linked to treatment, a number, which Dr. Bakor laments, will greatly impact the project treatment current targets and outcomes.
The project staff left the coordination meeting with the main strategy, which is to increase the retention rate through linking clients to care and following them up. The staff were instructed to ensure that all the clients coming for their monthly refills are given treatment which will last at least two months; because the security challenges may not permit the clients to return for their refills (additional drugs). The only exceptions to this strategy, it was stressed, are those with unsuppressed viral load since they have to go through serious monitoring for effective adherence. “To remain in business, we must do business differently” the Technical Director reiterated in conclusion.