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August 2017

Breaking the trend. Pinetown clinic sets the pace for positive change.

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Across the world it is estimated that 10.3 million young people aged 15-24 are living with HIV. Today 50% of all new infections occur in young people specifically. Most don’t know their HIV status.

It’s a trend that the Adolescent and Youth Friendly Services (AYFS) Team at CHIVA South Africa are determined to break. Partnering with 35 health facilities in KwaZulu-Natal province, we are proud to see Pinetown clinic set the pace. With an interim assessment score of 98%, the clinic team are now delivering AYFS services well above the required 80%, within the first five months of our mentoring.

youth room

CHIVA South Africa’s dedicated teams work closely with clinics like Pinetown to embed a culture of appropriate, accessible, and high-quality care and treatment, in order to improve the quality of comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services to young people. Ensuring that the focus is as much on education, prevention and support, as it is on diagnosis and treatment.

Living positively as an adolescent with HIV poses immense challenges. For some, this is the first time they have access to a service that has been designed with their needs in mind. ‘The love, care and support I got here is unbelievable’ one 16 year old client explains. ‘They never judged me… I accepted myself. I’m not HIV-positive, I’m living with HIV’. For the youth in KwaZulu-Natal, our work sends an important message: your lives matter.

It’s a message that makes all the difference. At CHIVA South Africa, we believe that building self-esteem alongside knowledge and skills is critical to the overall well-being of young people living with HIV in South Africa. That’s why we work to ensure that all adolescents can receive quality SRH services that not only educate, prevent and treat, but that also empower individuals to reach their potential.

team

Our adolescent client sums it up perfectly: ‘I’m happy with the new me. I thought it (HIV) was going to break me, but it built me.’

All clinics are assessed against a series of 240 questions to meet 10 standards. It’s not easy, but with their sights set on a perfect 100%, Pinetown is a model of positive change for young people across the region.

Finalists in the third sector excellence awards!

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We are delighted to announce that our ‘Our Youth Our Future’ programme has been nominated as a finalist in the Big Impact Award category in the Third Sector Excellence Awards. The annual Third Sector Awards are prestigious awards run in the UK by Third Sector, the UK’s leading media outlet for the non-profit sector.

TSA_finalist17Since 2014, when we started the programme, we have supported the Department of Health in South Africa to strengthen health services for adolescents and young people across 23 health facilities, working with each facility for a whole year. In 2017 we are working with 43 facilities.

The award is particularly focused on our work in the past year. During this time our teams worked alongside approximately 450 healthcare professionals in 15 health facilities. These facilities had a catchment of more than 205,000 young people. Through targeted mentoring and teaching we supported teams to transform services available to all young people in their communities.

By measuring performance throughout the programme against 10 Department of Health standards and 244 indicators we could track progress and identify areas to improve. At baseline, the average score across all facilities was 51%. At the end, the average was 97%. Behind these scores are new, targeted activities which transform health services for adolescents.

We are very proud that our work has been recognised. To be finalists in these awards is a credit to our team in South Africa who carry out this work with total commitment every day. They are, together with the health workers we work alongside, excited and re-energised to work together to build a better future for adolescents and youth in South Africa. We would also like to extend our thanks to the Department of Health in KwaZulu-Natal, and all of our partners and funders who are important partners in enabling us to improve health outcomes for adolescents and youth in South Africa.