- AIDS Care Managers (ACM) is a non-governmental Organization (NGO) situated at No 5 Clement Isong Street, Federal Housing Estate, Abak Road, Uyo in Akwa Ibom State. The NGO was established in December 1996 with the name Akwa Ibom State AIDS Care and support group (AKISASC) which changed into AIDS Care Managers in 1997 as the organization was formed solely as an NGO with no input from the State Government. AIDS Care Managers (ACM) has been duly registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja under the Company and Allied Matters Act 1990 with registration number RC 360009.
Our vision: “A world without HIV/AIDS”
Our mission: “to reduce the incidence and impact of HIV and AIDS in the general population, people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS including the OVC through appropriate education, information, care and support services”
Our Core Values:
• Team work
• Preservation of human lives
• Selfless service to humanity
• Equity, fairness and justice
• Caring for the helpless
• Proper and adequate dissemination of information to the general populace
- COMMUNITY AWARENESS
Since inception, AIDS Care Mangers (ACM) in its efforts to actualize its vision has carried out HIV/AIDs education in workplaces, markets, churches, and secondary school in fourteen local Government areas of the state. These included Etinan, Nsit Atai, Essien Udim, Ikono, Onna, Eket, Ikot Abasi, Ibeno, Uruan, Urue Offong/Oruko, Esit Eket and Uyo. Between 1999 – 2015, a total of 58 primary schools, 108 secondary schools, 72 churches and 28 markets have been reached in terms of HIV/AIDS awareness and sensitization. This also involved the provision of posters, pamphlets (in Ibibio and English languages), and bill-boards.SCHOOL PROGRAMS
These programs were aimed at providing enlightenment on HIV/AIDS in schools. Currently 166 primary and secondary schools with over a population of 51,809 children have been reached. These programs include, formation of 24 ANTI-AIDs Clubs in schools, training of 503 peer health educators, provision of school desks and renovation/equipping of early childhood centre. The Grassrootsoccer project is yet another in-school project focused at educating, empowering and inspiring the development of children, youth and communities. The project empowers children/youth between ages 11-16 years with simple but powerful connections between soccer and life skills. It also helps the youth to have relevant and important discussions about life, take small step to achieve their goals, stay strong when faces with challenges and protect themselves and others from diseases such as HIV/AIDs and malaria. This project which started in 2013 is being implemented in three local government Areas (Uyo, Eket and Onna) and so far have graduated and certified 8,019 (3117m, 4902f) student. Other packages for the project include:- Kick against malaria football tournament, creative kids against malaria competition, World AIDS Day celebration football tournament and schools holiday camp.HIV COUNSELLING AND TESTING
HIV Testing and Counseling (HTC) is an important entry point to care and support services, including access to ART, combination of two activities that complement each other. It is usually a client-centred interactive communication process in which one helps the other to make free, informed decisions about their personal behaviour and provides support to sustain their behaviour. A large proportion of infected persons do not know that they are infected, testing therefore provides an opportunity for one to Know their sero-status therefore altering their behavior just as prevention counseling and referral give them access to care and support services. This counselling services are provided during routine activities to people in the community such as home visits, community sensitization and awareness creation in markets, churches and schools.Training of Home Based Care Providers (HBCP)
Nine individuals and 2 CBOs were trained and kitted as Home Based Care Providers with basic information on HIV/AIDS. The groups were drawn from Uyo and Ikot Ekpene Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State. From time to time, training workshops and refresher courses were organized to update their knowledge in current development of HIV/AIDS.PROVIDING HOME BASED CARE
Although there is no cure yet for AIDS, people who are HIV positive could do a lot to live well and remain healthy. This involves changes in both the way the PLWHAS think and the way they behave. Positive living involves letting go of those things or habits which are injurious to health and embracing those habits that are beneficial to well-being. It also involves a determination to live and to continue contributing meaningfully to their family and community life. The NGO having these concepts in mind goes the whole hug to provide care for PLWHAS that are ill at home and nurse them to a state of their being able to fit into the mainstream of life again in the Society. ACM has so far provided HBC services to 600 (m: 200, f: 400) clients.Capacity Building
AIDS Care Managers has trained a total of 173 health workers, 178 Church workers, 31 school teachers, 30 Home Based Care Provider, 28 PLWHAS as HIV/AIDS counsellors in her capacity building activities. ACM has also equipped PLWHAs and PABAs with knowledge and skills to develop, execute, manage, monitor and evaluate HIV/AIDS related programs.Production of IEC Materials
IEC materials namely “What you must know about HIV/AIDS” and many others as well as “A Handbook on HIV/AIDS for Home Based Care Providers” were published in 2003 and 2004 respectively The essence of these materials is to make available adequate information and tools to the populace especially PLWHAs and Home Based Care Providers on some issues concerning HIV/AIDS at no cost. Restricted by available funds 1000 copies of each were produced and distributed.DRUG REVOLVING SCHEME, WATER PROJECT, PROVISION OF VIP LATRINES
Between 2002 – 2004, the NGO worked in six communities namely: Ikot Akpan Nko in Onna Local Governmnet area, Udesi in Mbo Local Government area, Oyoku Ibighi in Urue Offong/Oruko Local Government Area, Iwuo Okpom Opolom in Ibeno LGA, Odio in Eket LGA and Ekpene Obo in Esit Eket LGA. The activities carried out were construction and equipping of drug stores/ trained chemist, drug revolving scheme; where the Community Health Committee formed managed the resources from the drug store to ensure its continual function, construction of bore-holds, wells/mono pumps and construction of VIP latrines.ROLL BACK MALARIA
As an attempt to contribute to the fight against malaria, AIDS Care Managers has provided Long Lasting Insecticidal Treated nets in 10 Local Government Area and also netting of households. Knapsack sprayers and chemical for community fumigation was provided and more than 10 communities were fumigated. The NGO also partners with state ministry of health during the world malaria day to sensitize, test for malaria and mount bill-boards and posters with specific malaria prevention massages in the communities.OVC
Globally and especially in sub-Saharan Africa a large proportion of children lack basic necessity and support for optimum development. In Nigeria, the estimated number of children who are orphans and vulnerable and in need of essential care was 17.5 million (FMWASD SAA 2008). Major causes of orphaning and vulnerability include poverty, conflicts, HIV/AIDS, road accidents, communicable and non-communicable diseases, harmful cultural practices.A vulnerable child is one who is living in circumstances with high risks and whose prospects for continued growth and development are seriously threatened. The child is exposed to danger, abuse, exploitation or deprivation of Rights. A vulnerable child is exposed to abuse and too young to fight for his/her Rights (example; dis-inheritance, education). To ensure comprehensive service delivery, ACM and her sub CBOS must have provided the basic essential services based on needs and determined by CSI or a good referral system as focus is now based on strengthening community structures to ensure that families and community take ownership for care of vulnerable children with support from Government and Non-Governmental Organisations. In view of the above, child participation programs are being carried out monthly in six communities where about six hundred children are met during the kid’s club activities and are free to be first and foremost the children that they are, their opinions are heard, respected and considered equally for both girls and boys. Currently number of enrolled vulnerable children is 19560 (M: 9775, F: 9785) of this number, 19300 (M: 9648, F: 9652) have been served and from this number served, 7087 (M: 3476, F: 3611) have had their birth registered in four (Oron, Okobo, Abak and Uyo) Local Government Areas. Eighteen vulnerable children (M: 5, F: 13) and four female care givers have been empowered with different vocational skillsTraining of TBAs
Maternal mortality has attracted increased attention and interest in the last decades because it represents the leading cause of death among the women of reproductive age in most developing countries. With an estimated 59,000 mothers dying annually from pregnancy-related causes, Nigeria has the second highest maternal mortality burden in the world. The rural areas, where most Nigerians live, have a higher maternal mortality ratio (828 deaths per 100,000 live births) than the urban areas [351 per 100,000 live births] . However, this ratio of maternal deaths in developing countries including Nigeria are preventable, treatable and avoidable if given the right strategies including skilled attendants, emergency obstetric care and community mobilization. In Akwa Ibom State, maternal mortality stands at 975 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births. The utilization of formal health services in rural settings in Nigeria including Akwa Ibom State is generally low. Therefore, the health needs of the people are in the hands of unqualified professionals. Skilled and professional health services are only available to a small number of people in rural settings. It has also been suggested that only about 28 percent of rural Nigerian women have births handled by skilled personnel ( UNICEF, 2001; Bureau, 2002; Shiffman et al 2006). The majority of the births in rural Nigeria including Akwa Ibom State take place with the assistance of traditional birth attendants. Although, the traditional birth attendants have many years of experience, they lack the appropriate skills to manage risky pregnancies. They also operate in unhygienic circumstances which may have increased the risk of infection for the pregnant women. Infection is a major cause of maternal death in developing countries, especially during the puerperium. Given the wide acceptance of traditional birth attendants in the rural communities of Akwa Ibom State, there appears a clear need to retrain them and to promote their integration and monitoring by existing services, such as those of midwives in the rural communities. So far about 120 TBAs have been trained from eight (8) Local Government Areas.PREVENTION OF MOTHER-TO-CHILD TRANSMISSION OF HIV (PMTCT)
PMTCT which is for preventing mothers who are HIV infected from passing the virus from themselves to their children is implemented through a combination of interventions commonly referred to as the ‘comprehensive approach to PMTCT’. This approach is grouped into four broad categories (four prongs of PMTCT): • Prevent HIV transmission in women of reproductive age-group and their partners • Prevent unintended pregnancies among HIV-positive women • Prevent HIV+ women from passing the virus to their babies • Provide care and support for women, their children and family. For ACM and her sub CBOs the fourth category is her focus of intervention where clients are reached and serve through the informal care providers such as TBAs, CVs, family members, in both the community and churches. The services provided include; • Advocacy and sensitization for community PMTCT • Community awareness and mobilization to create demand for PMTCT services • Care and support • Referrals and linkages • Prevention activities such as provision of HTC during outreach programs and encouraging male partner testing and disclosure with many others. The PMTCT activities are implemented in churches, markets, TBAs’ homes , mission delivery homes and private patent medicine vendors.
- 1. To provide an elaborate HIV/AIDS awareness, care and support programme in Akwa Ibom State and other states of the federation. 2. To increase the awareness of the Community to the rising trend of HIV/AIDS infection through public enlightenment, Home Based Care, campaign in schools, work places, churches and meetings of socio cultural Organizations. 3. To reduce and, ultimately, stop the spread of HIV/AIDS in communities through well-packaged community based programmes. 4. To collaborate with government and other NGOs in the prevention and reduction of HIV/AIDS/STls in the states
1. To establish, run and operate health institutions, hospitals, clinics and schools for health services and training. 2. To render health education on preventive health, drug and alcohol abuse, AIDS, cancer, heart and respiratory diseases as well as on other dangerous diseases. 3. To render community based health services e.g. Home Based Care, Safe Motherhood Services, care and service provision to vulnerable children 4. To provide general consultancy services on health matters. 5. To build, run and operate laboratories, pharmaceutical stores/shops, blood banks and facilities required for proper health care delivery. 6. To generate, appeal for/raise funds, support, grants equipment, tools, machines, instruments and/or apparatus of any kind from donors, person(s), group(s), any authority and/or organization in Nigeria or elsewhere for the purpose of achieving the objectives of the organization. 7. To financially secure and discharge any debt or obligations binding on the organization. 8. To work with/co-operate and/or associate with any person(s), organization, institution and/or authority with similar or identical interest/objective for the purpose of attaining the object of the organization. 9. To enter into any arrangement with any government or other authority, national, municipal, local or otherwise, and to obtain from any such government or authority all rights, concessions, and privileges which may seem conducive to the organizations’s objectives or any of them) or obtain or endeavour to obtain any act or acts of parliamenUorthe purposes of the organization. 10. To subscribe money for charitable objects or for any exhibition, for any useful object of a public nature.
- Beginning from the planning stage of this project, there were a lot of concerns as to what will happen to the target population – pregnant mothers, children between 0 – 5 years and orphans in the Communities after the expiration of the project duration. To overcome these concerns the following sustainability plans were put in place;
Community ownership of project: Community ownership of the project implies that the projects itself belongs to the community, thus external institutions involves are to serve as catalyst and inspirers. Consequently, project staff recruited should mainly be indigenes of the communities. Additionally indigenous project staff are advise to see themselves as building their own community and de- emphasize payment of gratifications to work in building their own communities. They are to see themselves as equal partner and stakeholders in the project.
Institutional Support for ACM: Aside from promoting and encouraging community ownership of the project, it is imperative that various forms of institutional support be given to ACM. For ACM, Institutional support is viewed as both internal and external. Internal institutional support was to be derive from already existing social networks with a focus on women particularly formal Community Based Organization. While in, external Institutional support it is envisaged to be provided by external organizations such as Development Agencies – UNICEF, UNIFEM, UNFPA, WORLD BANK, UNDP, NGOs, etc.
Staff development: Empowering the staff of the project in the communities and the NGO is also important for sustainability this will be achieved through increasing the reliability and efficiency of management information and other operation system, and using data and other system output for more effective planning, resource allocation and performance management. These will entail a gradual evolution of cooperate culture that support management of change and growth as well as full commitment of staff and other stakeholders.
Monitoring and evaluation: There shall be a continuous monitoring and evaluation at the beginning, mid-term and at the end of every project.
The organization has a Programme Manager who oversees the day to day running of the project, a Programme Accountant who is in charge of financial management, an Auditor who does internal auditing other Organization’s account, a monitoring and Evaluation Officer, who assesses the progress of the project, identifies challenges, proffers solutions; a Community Mobilization officer who mobilizes the community for activities and the Procurement Officer who procures all that the Organization needs.
- In order to achieve the above stated objectives, or AIDS Care Managers (ACM) undertakes the following activities:
• Training of Church/health workers as HIV/AIDS counselors. . Training of Home based Care Providers . Home based Care for people living with AIDS (PLWHAs) • Counselling services for PLWHAs, PABAs, family members and the Community in general. • Care and Support for HIV/AIDS Orphans and vulnerable children • Production and distribution of appropriate IEC materials in English and Local Languages • State – wide radio and television enlightenment talks on HIV/AIDS/STls . HIV/AIDS education in churches. • School based HIV education in all the secondary schools in any adopted areas. • Formation of Junior AIDS Care Managers and Anti AIDS Clubs in Secondary Schools and the training of members as Peer Health Educators (PHEs) on sexuality education.
In recent times, the NGO has carried out the under listed activities towards the mitigation of HIV/AIDS in Uyo, Eket and Ikot Ekpene Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State:
2) SUPPORT TO HIV/AIDS ORPHANS/RELATIVES AIDS Care Managers in January 2004 provided support to Twenty (20) people affected by HIV/AIDS (PABA) with emphasis on Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in the area of Education, skills acquisition through apprenticeship and provision of Micro Credit in Uyo, Eket and Ikot Ekpene Local Government Areas. For sponsorship in Education, the assistance covers school fees, provision of books, uniforms, pocket money/provision, and boarding fees. The sponsorship for skills acquisition covers up-keep allowance, workshop fees and tools for the trade. At the end of the training, such Orphans are assisted by the NGO to establish their own trade. However, none of tile trainees has graduated yet.
A Micro credit scheme was introduced for relatives of Orphans and People Affected by AIDS (PABA) to empower them economically and to improve their standard of living. The two beneficiaries are complying with the terms of re¬payment. Below is a table indicating the number of Orphans benefiting from our sponsorship as well, as the categories of benefits obtainable.
Community Enlightenment Since it’s establishment, AIDS Care Managers in its efforts to actualize its vision has carried out HIV/AIDS education in work places, markets, churches, and secondary schools in thirteen Local Government Areas. These include Etinan, Nsit Attai, Essien Udim, Ikono, Onna, Oron, Eket, Ikot Abasi, Ibeno, Mbo, Uruan, Urue Offong/Oruko and Esit Eket. Between 1997 and 2005, a total of ninety one (91) Secondary Schools, sixty five (65) Churches and twenty (20) major markets were reached in terms of HIV/AIDS sensitization activities while twenty four (24) ANTI – AIDS Clubs were inaugurated.
Training of Home Based Care Providers (HBCP) Nine individuals and 21 NGOs were trained and kitted as Home Based Care Providers with basic information on HIV/AIDS. The groups were drawn from Uyo and Ikot Ekpene Local Government Areas of Akwa Ibom State. From time to time, training workshops and refresher courses were organized to update their knowledge in current development of HIV/AIDS.
PROVIDING HOME BASED CARE Although there is no cure yet for AIDS, people who are HIV positive could do a lot to live well and remain healthy. This involves changes in both the way the PLWHAS think and the way they behave. positive living involves letting go of those things or habits which are injurious to health and embracing those habits that are beneficial to well being. It also involves a determination to live and to continue contributing meaningfully to their family and community life.
The NGO having these concepts in mind goes the whole hug to provide care for PLWHAS that are ill at home and nurse them to a state of their being able to fit into the mainstream of life again in the Society.
Capacity Building AIDS Care Managers has trained a total of 173 health workers, 178 Church workers, 31 school teachers, 30 Home Based Care Provider, 8 PLWHAS as HIV/AIDS counsellors in her capacity building activities. The NGOs, CBOs, PLWHAs and PABAs with knowledge and skills to develop, execute, monitor and evaluate HIV/AIDS related programmes.
Production of IEC Materials IEC materials namely “What you must know about HIV/AIDS” and “ A Handbook on HIV/AIDS for Home Based Care Providers” were published in 2003 and 2004 respectively The essence of these materials is to make available adequate information and tools to the populace especially PLWHAs and HBCP on some issues concerning HIV/AIDS at no cost. Restricted by available funds 1000 copies of each were produced and distributed.
Monitoring and Evaluation AIDS Care Managers is focused and on course that is why it is actively involved in monitoring and evaluation of its projects. The NGO carries out frequent assessment on progress made by the Orphans, PABAs and PLWHAs under its care and support activities. The HBCPs are also monitored for more counselling and updating of their knowledge on issues relating to the management of their relatives living with HIV/AIDS.
SUCCOUR TO HIV/AIDS ORPHANS The NGO has provided succour to people affected by HIV/AIDS (PABA) with emphasis on Orphans in the area of Education, skills acquisition through apprenticeship and provision of Micro Credit.
EDUCATION AND SKILL ACQUISITION From inception, the NGO have trained 16 Orphans in both Education and skills acquisition. For sponsorship in Education, the assistance covers school fees, provision of books, uniforms, pocket money/provision, and boarding fess. The sponsorship for skills acquisition covers up keep, workshop fees and tools for the trade. Such Orphans are assisted by the NGO to establish their own trade at the completion of the training.
MICRO CREDITMicro credit scheme was organized to introduce the beneficiaries to the operations of micro credit and the roles each party has to play with the aim of ensuring their enhanced living standards and the success of the programme with an interest rate of 10%. This pilot scheme started with two (2) beneficiaries because of the NGO’s limited resources. Below is a table indicating the number of Orphans benefiting from our sponsorship and the nature of their support: