The Shepherd’s Hospice, a non-governmental organization of Christian background which works to provide treatment for HIV/AIDS and TB patients on Friday launched its National Collaborative Stop TB/HIV Campaign at Lower Allen Town in Freetown.
The campaign seeks to scale up case detection and promote treatment success of TB/HIV patients through community volunteers in Sierra Leone.
It is an innovative strategy which includes community participation in the provision of health services to those in need in their communities.
Speaking to the press at his office, the Executive Director of the Shepard’s Hospice Dr. Gabriel Madiye disclosed that, they have been working in partnership with other bodies to ensure free treatment is made available for patients with HIV/AIDS and those with Tuberculosis. He stated that, they have also ensured that Sierra Leone be given the privilege to import oral morphemes into the country thus making the country part of other countries in this drive. The Executive Director expressed his gratitude to Open Society Institute for supporting them in this drive and to the EU who are funding the Access to Life project at the cost of one million euros and DFID, who are supporting the Health Development in Sierra Leone at the cost of two hundred and ninety thousand pound sterling.
The Shepard’s Hospice in collaboration with bodies like the National Aids Secretariat has been able to develop a national collaborative stop HIV/AIDS campaign in an effort to promote free treatment for AIDS patients. They are working with District Mobilization Officers and other volunteers trained by the Hospice to sensitize people on HIV/AIDS thus encouraging them to go for treatment.
Speaking on their mandate, Dr. Madiye said, they are a civil society group who believes that attainment of the highest quality of health care should not only be left in the hands of government but must be promoted also by the people infected and affected by Aids, cancer and TB. The National Collaborative Stop HIV/Aids campaign comprises of posters which call for all to identify neighbors who cough for two or more weeks and refer them to the nearest health centers for treatment. “We should fight in solidarity the issues of HIV/AIDS and TB” Dr Madiye said.
Shepard’s Hospice is to be paying for treatment of patients with HIV/AIDS and TB related illnesses, thus lifting such burden from patients and this, according to the Executive Secretary will be done through the issuance of coupons to patients.
By John Baimba Sesay