USAID/Guyana HIV/AIDS Reduction and Prevention (GHARP) Project
Home-Based and Palliative Care
CAI was a partner under a subcontract with Family Health International (FHI) on the 5-year USAID-funded GHARP project, from 2005 to 2009. CAI collaborated with the Ministry of Health (MOH)/National AIDS Programme (NAPS) to design a comprehensive home-based palliative care program and to provide a comprehensive package of care through a continuum from diagnosis through end of life and then death and bereavement. The specific objectives of the program were to establish one national home-based care program to provide PLWHA with HPC services, including Clinical Care; Psychological Care; Social Services; Spiritual Care; and Prevention Services. Additionally, the program was designed to provide employment opportunities for PLWHA to participate as integrated members of multidisciplinary teams and offer critical support to their peers and health care personnel.
With new developments in treatment and care, there has been a decrease in HIV/AIDS morbidity and mortality. However, the incidence of HIV cases continues to increase, particularly in locations such as Guyana. More and more, the fight to prevent and reduce HIV/AIDS is focused on secondary prevention as an important component. By increasing the proportion of PLWHA who know their HIV-positive serostatus and get linked to care and treatment, it is hoped that new infections can be decreased by 50% or more. As part of this comprehensive approach, CAI provided separate trainings for clinicians, HPC workers, and PLWHA focused respectively on building specific clinical knowledge and skills; building rapport between clients and providers; and improving one’s health, quality of life and self-management.
CAI, in collaboration with MOH/NAPS, responded to the need to reduce the number of HIV positive persons who are lost to care by training PLWHA to participate as integrated members of a multidisciplinary team at national Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) sites. PLWHA’s personal experience of navigating the health care system allows them to better guide newly diagnosed HIV positive patients into care and treatment services. CAI provided training for Case Navigators, VCT staff, and treatment site staff in the program. Additionally, CAI provided TA to the implementation sites in monitoring and reporting to assist NAPS in collecting monthly data for the program.
Income Generation Activities for PLWHA
Globally, many PLWHA are unable to access jobs or develop specialized skills necessary to provide for themselves and their families. CAI responded to this need in Guyana by teaming up with local organizations and businesses to provide PLWHA with job readiness training and loan opportunities. The first of these partnerships was created in 2005 to provide an unprecedented opportunity for qualifying PLWHA with access to small loans to start up or help finance a business. Over the life of the project, 103 small loans totaling US $40,160 were provided to 83 PLWHA. In another project, CAI teamed up with local businesses to provide apprenticeships in specialized crafts including basketry, leather craft, jewelry design, fabric design, upholstery, and souvenir design to HIV-positive women. CAI also worked in collaboration with NAPS, the Ministry of Housing, Habitat for Humanity, and Food for the Poor for the construction of five new homes for families affected by HIV/AIDS. Twenty men from established HIV/AIDS support groups received training to assist in the construction. Finally, CAI teamed up with the Iwokrama International Centre for Rainforest Conservation and Development to provide scholarships and train nine young adults infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in ecotourism skills.