With dignity and zero discrimination, we will ensure effective health care services to the people of Sudan.

The Federal Ministry of Health in collaboration with UNDP organized a training on Integrated Management of Adulthood and Adolescents’ Illnesses (IMAI) attended by 140 participants from 18 states of Sudan. WHO developed these IMAI guidelines aimed at first-level facility health workers and lay providers for emergency scale up of antiretroviral treatment in low-resource settings. Medical doctors, counselors, monitoring and evaluation officers, medical assistants and functionaries from 38 antiretroviral therapy centers were trained. The training aimed to create a cadre of health workers with the right attitudes, knowledge and skills necessary to provide stigma-free care to people living with HIV. Understanding the challenges that people living with HIV face will enables health workers to provide appropriate health care including counselling and follow up to increase adherence to treatment.  The training started on 21st November 2016 and ended on the 1st of December 2016 in harmony with the celebrations of the World AIDS Day 2016.

Building the capacity of the health cadre in the provision of HIV care and treatment services is an essential pillar of Sudan’s National AIDS Control Strategy. During 2016, more than 1,000 health care providers were trained by the Federal Ministry of Health and UNDP in different aspects of HIV care and treatment including HIV testing.

Since 2005, UNDP in Sudan has partnered with government and civil society to support critical interventions to reduce HIV prevalence and death due to AIDS with funding support the Global Fund. The prevention activities were focused on key populations, pregnant women, young people, uniformed personnel. Moreover, concerted efforts were made to enhance the capacity of health care providers from different specializations to provide high quality of the services to key populations and people living with HIV. In the last 10 years, the Global Fund has invested $140 million on HIV prevention, treatment and care in Sudan.

Highlights

  • 5,140 people living with HIV are receiving anti-retroviral therapy free of charge from 38 centers.
  • More than 2000 HIV positive patients are on pre anti-retroviral treatment.
  • 89,096 people received HIV testing and counseling services from different settings.

Aziza (name changed) is a 42-year-old women, who got married in 1995. Shortly, she was thrilled to be pregnant with her first child. However, she was losing a lot of body weight instead of gaining weight, which is the normal process during pregnancy. After giving birth to the baby, she was frail and became sick frequently.  In 1997, the sad reality hit her when her husband was diagnosed with HIV. On the advice of the counsellor in the Voluntary Counselling and Testing Centre, she also underwent an HIV testing and found her to be HIV positive. She felt devastated hearing the information that she was also infected with the virus. Slowly she began to accept the reality but was worried how she will break the news to her family.

She continued to take care for her husband and daughter. Without receiving adequate care and treatment, their health deteriorated. She lost her husband the same year and lost her child 2 years later.  Her resilience and independence was very strong that she decided to join the association of people living with HIV. Getting involved in the activities of the association of people living with HIV, helped her in increasing the self-awareness about HIV and AIDS and on steps to take care of herself and others. It was during her involvement with the association that she met another man who became her second husband.  They are now married for 2 years and are delighted to have two children. With successful use of HIV medication, the children did not get HIV infection from the mother. “Receiving life-saving treatment made a significant difference to my quality of life. I encourage more and more people to get themselves tested for HIV and urge people who are HIV positive to seek the care they need. With the support of dedicated health care workers, Sudan really can ensure that “dignity comes first”.