Swasti in collaboration with USAID, NACO and the State AIDS Control Society implemented a pilot project to improve the accessibility and availability of HIV services

telugu super news, Hyderabad, October 6th,2022:Swasti Health Catalyst, a not-for-profit health organisation, implemented a Community-led Monitoring (CLM) pilot project with support from its funding partner USAID-PEPFAR, the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and the concerned State AIDS Control Society to improve the accessibility and availability of HIV services in New Delhi, Maharashtra and Telangana. With a focus on community system strengthening the national programme conducted from May 2021 to September 2022 in 2 districts of Maharashtra – Thane & Pune, 5 districts of Telangana – Rangareddy, Karimnagar, Hyderabad, Mahabubnagar, & Nalgonda and 3 districts of Delhi – North East, North West & Central Delhi.

Swasti took up the development and piloting of the Community-led Monitoring (CLM) for improving HIV service quality and access which is an accountability mechanism led and implemented by local representatives of the key population – female sex workers, men who have sex with men, injecting drug users, transgenders and   people living with HIV (PLHIV). In the three States, over 160+ Community Representatives (CR’s) volunteered to be a part of the initiative. 590+ HIV service facilities and centers across the three states were visited in the first two rounds of CLM.

Placing the communities and clients at the center of the HIV response has been critical to controlling the HIV epidemic. The purpose of the project was collaborating with community members in a way that will identify barriers and enablers to accessing and utilizing HIV services is paramount. Community-led monitoring approach allow communities to design, implement and carry out routine, ongoing monitoring of the quality and accessibility of HIV treatment and prevention services in a productive, collaborative, respectful, and solutions-oriented way.

Dr. Bhawani Singh, Deputy Director, NACO said, “The community should be at the forefront in 600+ districts and should lead the efforts, represent and voice what is important to them. This approach can help ensure that the facilities are providing quality HIV services that beneficiaries want to utilize, improves the patient experience, and ultimately improves patient outcomes”.

Ms. Shama Karkal, CEO Swasti, expressed how scaling the program further would reap excellent results. It is also important that we continue to refine and change the process in order to make this a success in the future rounds as well.

Recently, Swasti also hosted a learning and dissemination workshop on Community-led Monitoring (CLM) with a purpose to bring together all the key stakeholders, namely- Community Representatives, NACO, DSACS, Service Providers, CRG Members and donor partners, to highlight key lessons learned and best practices of the CLM in Delhi and to celebrate the efforts of Community Representatives & Service Providers who are doing exemplary work. The discussions and the recommendations at the workshop point in the direction of replicating the project and intensifying follow-up actions in all districts and states. The results of the project are just a first contribution to meet the larger challenges ahead.