Monday, 20 July 2015

USAID-Funded Project Helps Reduce Multiple Sex Partners In Ndola


By Paul Shalala in Ndola



An HIV and AIDS project in Ndola’s Kawama area has helped reduced the level of multiple sexual partners by residents who have been under monitoring for five years.
The United States-funded COMPACT project helped residents form safe love and alcohol committees to promote safe sex and reduce the chances of HIV transmission.

At the close of the project on Wednesday last week, results showed that some people monitored had reduced the number of sexual partners in the five year period the project ran. 
At the close of the project on Wednesday, COMPACT Chief of Party Chabu Kangale revealed that most respondents in Kawama had reported a 10 percent reduction in multiple sexual partners in the past five years.
Mr Kangale also revealed that condom use had also increased in the area as a result of community workers who have been visiting bars and homes to sensitise people on safe sex.

Implemented by the Lusaka-based Population Council, the five-year project dubbed COMPACT, helped the community to have safe sex and reduce the number of sexual partners.
This was done through the creation of safe love clubs, alcohol committees, gender action groups and several others.
These groups of volunteers went around the community to sensiting people on their specific roles.
After five years, interesting results have come out.
"These results show that COMPACT had an impact on the way people behave sexually. We are happy that people are now adhering to guidelines that safe love clubs have given them," said Mr Kangale.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has been spearheading behavioural change programs worldwide.

USAID Head of Community Health Jessica Heally said HIV transmissions can only be halted if people change their attitudes.

Ndola District Commissioner Rebby Chanda
"We are happy to note that condom use is on the increase. Now we need to also ensure that this situation is sustained," said Ms Heally.
Ndola District Commissioner Rabby Chanda, who was guest of honor at the closing ceremony for COMPACT project, called for the protection of the girl child.

"When you educate a girl, you educate the nation. I want to advise parents seated here to avoid marrying off their school-going girls. Allow them to complete schools and grow,"

More than three dozen volunteers were awarded certificate of participation for taking part in the COMPACT project.

With the close of the project, COMPACT handed over several tables, desks, chairs and a Toyota Hilux vehicle to the Ndola District Health Office to help in HIV prevention programs in the area.
Apart from Ndola, the COMPACT project was also implemented in Chongwe and Rufunsa Districts of Lusaka Province.

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