As the midwife in charge of the maternity ward at the Aboke Health Centre, Anna has the potential to make a dramatic impact on HIV prevention. When asked how HIV/AIDS has affected Aboke, Beatrice tells us mother to child transmission is particularly problematic, since breastfeeding mothers will unknowingly pass the disease to their children, continuing the cycle of HIV/AIDS. As a result, Beatrice has initiated a treatment program for infected mothers and pregnant women. But it is not always an issue of infrastructure – in a rural community like Aboke, Beatrice must draw the community in for testing and treatment.
By supporting vulnerable youth, CAP/AIDS was able to assist Beatrice in her mission. Through our HIV Prevention program, these adolescents were provided with training on how to generate income, as well as education on HIV/AIDS. By breaking down the stigma associated with the disease, the choice to obtain testing and treatment becomes much clearer. As a result, Beatrice says ‘they requested me to go and test all of them. I was very pleased with them.’
Now that the way to HIV prevention is laid out, Beatrice has continued her work preventing mother to child transmission by ‘involving VHTs [Voluntary HIV Testers], to help us to mobilize, to teach them to come and test themselves.’ Beatrice can achieve her goal because she does not rely just on hospitals and drugs, but also the trust and engagement of the whole community.
You can get more involved in the CAP/AIDS Network.