Good Friday, The JIJUE way down Lakeside - Nyanza 411
by Kenneth Okwaroh
After the lull down the lakeside, I Choose Life-Africa is glowing on the wrists of folks in the hard 2 reach corners of Kombewa Division, Kisumu East District, thanks to one unique partnership between National AIDS Control Council and I Choose Life Africa Nyanza Program.
With the ever superb hands of one Charles Otieno Opil, and his networking skills, we got NACC, DASCO,DMOH, DRHO, DDO, MOYA, LVCT, CACC, Provincial Administration planning together with us the 1st ever Counseling and Testing services brought to the interiors of Kisumu East district. We engaged 10 counselors, 1 data clerk, DASCO and CACC secretary Kisumu Rural constituency to beat a target of 100 clients counseled and tested, and 1000 individuals reached with messages on the value of taking a HIV test.
There was a 2 days motorbike parade reaching over 3,000 individuals around Kombewa market and the surrounding villages to distigmatize HIV/AIDS and promote Counseling and Testing. 2500 Handbills (post cards with Voluntary Counseling and Testing messages translated into Dholuo) were issued during this mobilization.
Another 37 color posters with messages in dholuo were mounted across the village and markets to mobilize individuals for testing. A large "Yaw Pachi, Ng'e Chalni" - a translation of JIJUE into dholuo - banner produced and displayed throughout the 3 days intervention period.
Hundreds of young men, women, old men and women spiraled out of their homes on GOOD FRIDAY, the 10th of April 2009 to get tested and know their HIV status at Kombewa market. It was amazing, queues were long and people waited patiently for their turn to join the JIJUE band wagon. Counselors tested beyond the allowed 15 clients per day. The JIJUE wristbands just did the magic - thanks to our very own Vero!
By the close of the day, the targets had been achieved, with 154 clients being counseled and tested. Notably, the uptake of counseling and testing among male clients has notably increased, where 80% (124) males received counseling and testing during this drive compared to the 20% (30) females.The youth response was amazing, where 62% (96) of the 154 clients were aged between 15 - 25 years, most of whom were boda boda riders that has had earlier been engaged in the mobilization.
We rest assured that the glow-in-the-dark JIJUE reminder bands are definitely lighting the dark nights in Kombewa - Kisumu over this Easter,and that is a success story!