INTEGRATED HEALTH AND NUTRITION MANAGEMENT

HIV/AIDS has emerged as one of the foremost challenges for poverty alleviation and development. Although no authoritative figures are available on the status of HIV/AIDS prevalence among the community, there is growing evidence that infection rates are on the increase. There are still low levels of awareness among the communities on the pandemic and the rural-urban migration of men from the district going into towns to market livestock and in search of wage employment is a major avenue of infection when they return to the rural areas.

In addition, certain sexual behavioural practice among pastoralist groups like polygamy, wife inheritance, unsafe circumcision practices and births (including other accepted traditional behaviours) and ”truck” routes through Moyale district, pose major risks of contracting the pandemic into areas with otherwise very low infection rates. This situation is even bound to worsen with improved infrastructure and increased movement of people within and between districts. In light of the above, ALCHA will provide HIV/AIDS education and prevention services by establishing Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services and Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission ( PMTCT) centers at all levels including in mobile clinics to assist in raising knowledge of AIDS and making it a reality among the otherwise skeptical pastoralist groups.

In addition, ALCHA will seek to reduce the rate of HIV/AIDS transmission and ensure a safe and caring environment for those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS through provision of comprehensive treatment, training of partner organizations and networks on HIV/AIDS, and protecting the rights of people living with HIV/AIDS and the affected communities.

While it is not easy to roll out extensive HIV/AIDS programs, ALCHA can play an important role in identifying local needs, mainstreaming HIV/AIDS activities in all ALCHA development programmes and projects, and co-ordinating local responses (i.e. facilitating partnerships)