NAC’s Zvishavane ASM peer led program yields results
The National AIDS Council’s peer led program for Zvishavane small scale miners is yielding results following an HIV Services uptake being witnessed to date, Zvishavane District AIDS Coordinator Dennis Jaravani has said.
Speaking to the Mining Vision Magazine, Jaravani said: “Although no research has been done to assess the efficacy of the programme, currently, 55% of small-scale miners have been referred for services and an estimated 15% has accessed services,”
“The low uptake of services for us so far is a milestone achievement considering that in the past, service uptake by small scale miners has been very negligible.”
Describing the Peer led Programme to the Mining Vision Magazine, Jaravani said NAC selected peer leaders who recruit small scale miners; each peer leader should have a case load of 20 small scale miners. When he or she recruits 20 people, a home visit manual with 21 sections on various issues is then used to educate small scale miners on different issues around HIV, gender-based violence, power relations among other critical issues.
“The Peer led Programme started in 2020 and our target group are small scale miners in Zvishavane,” Jaravani told the Mining Vision Magazine. “The programme is run as a peer-to-peer programme, some small-scale miners were selected and trained to work as peer educators.”
The NAC funded programme started in 2019 but was on full throttle by 2020. Its objective is to enhance HIV service uptake by vulnerable groups of small-scale miners popularly known as ‘magweja’
The Zvishavane District AIDS Coordinator also revealed plans to host a gala in order to reach out to youths for them to get HIV services. According to him, NAC in Zvishavane has also been working with other stakeholders citing a recent COVID-19 vaccination blitz that was being done by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and community mobilization teams for COVID-19.