Shepherds Hospice Sierra Leone, a non -Governmental Humanitarian Organization has embarked on “Access to Life Projects” to increase opportunities for treatment and social support for people living with HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Cancer in Sierra Leone.
According to the Executive Director of Shepherds Hospice Sierra Leone, Gabriel Madiye, the aims and objectives of the “Access to Life Project” is to support people living with HIV/Aids and Tuberculosis to access treatment and also provide victims with social support to strengthen their income generating activities.
He noted that Volunteers, Mobilization Officers and District Health Medical Teams have been trained and equipped to identify, test, and provide treatment and support to people living with HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Cancer in the Western Area and other Districts across the Country.
He said that they want to see how they can lift the burden of care and support to people living with HIV/Aids and Tuberculosis through advocacy for free treatment and income generating activities to sustain victims.
Gabriel Madiye further spoke about the need to improve on access to free treatment and training of volunteers that will embark on door to door visit to patients who cannot afford to reach Health Centers due to poverty.
He also said that the “Access to Life” project will support patients morally and financially by reducing the financial burden on patients by paying for drugs and also transportation fares to reach treatment centers in the Country.
Additionally his organization is currently working with partners in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and the German Leprosy and Tuberculosis Program to formulate a policy that would provide free treatment and social support to people living with the disease that have been neglected and stigmatized by family members or friends.
Mr Madiye intimated that Shepherds Hospice has included TB and HIV/Aids prevention care and treatment activities as part of HIV/AIDS care and that the activities include TB and HIV /Aids education, screening of suspected patients and also facilitating access to HIV/Aids and TB therapy.
The project received funds from the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) for a period of one year but it is expected to last for four years with funds from the European Union and German partners to empower people living with HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis, and Cancer; with a revolving micro credit loan to patients to enable them embark on income generating activities to improve their lively hood.