New efforts – New strength: Multi-sectoral programs link intervention effort for ethnic communities in response to HIV/AIDS in Lang Son Province, Vietnam

The project goal is to reduce transmission and vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and minimize the impact of the epidemic on individuals and the communities in Lang Son province through multi – sectoral programs link intervention efforts.The two specific objectives of the project are: To reduce targeted households’ vulnerability to HIV/AIDS infection and transmission To empower ethnic households including families affected by HIV in the five selected communes in Lang Son township and Cao Loc district to improve the quality of their lives through health, economic and social uplift


Project Background

Lang Son is a mountainous province in the northern part of Viet Nam with 85% of its residents belonging to minority ethnic groups. The province is experiencing a rapid economic development, resulting in improving living standards of local population. However, this development is not shared evenly across the province, leaving many people, particularly ethnic minority groups,in difficult circumstances. The province also faces a number of social and health challenges including drug smuggling, women trafficking and drug abuse among youth and migrants.

The purpose of this project was to reduce transmission and vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and minimize the impact of the epidemic on individuals and the communities in Lang Son province through multi – sectoral programs link intervention efforts. It focused on building capacity of ethnic households to respond to HIV epidemic. This project was informed by a formative research that COHED in partnership with Lang Son Provincial Health Service conducted in 2004, which provided insight understanding of various aspects of targeted ethnic households and defined appropriate intervention activities that respond to local prioritized needs. The project was funded by The Rockefeller Foundation/Southeast Asia Regional Office with the approved budget of 181,400 USD. It began in October 2005 and ended in February 2008

Project Goals and Objectives

The project goal is to reduce transmission and vulnerability to HIV/AIDS and minimize the impact of the epidemic on individuals and the communities in Lang Son province through multi – sectoral programs link intervention efforts.The two specific objectives of the project are:

  • To reduce targeted households’ vulnerability to HIV/AIDS infection and transmission
  • To empower ethnic households including families affected by HIV in the five selected communes in Lang Son township and Cao Loc district to improve the quality of their lives through health, economic and social uplift

Highlights of Activities and Achievements

  • Established and built capacity for two art-based health education groups with participation of 23 active and enthusiastic members to implement health education activities in their communes.
  • Established and supported the operation of two self-help groups for PLHIV with engagement and support from local health care workers. These core members received the basic and intensive training on HIV/AIDS related home-care and support, including ARV treatment and counseling skills, and home-care kits and supplies.
  • Established and supported the operation of the first ever provincial network for HIV positive women to respond to the urgent need of psycho-social support and linkage to existing health care services. The network consists of 4 sub-clubs located in remote districts with participation of 195 active members, both men and women. Apart from peer support and empowerment for HIV positive women, 14 households affected by HIVreceived seed money forhusbandry and livestock raising.
  • Provided home- based care and support to 195 PLHIV, 260 family member and 58 children affected by HIV. The project also referred 131 clients for TB testing, provided ART adherence support to 67 PLHIV, and referred 161 individuals to VCT.
  • Establishing the pilot TB/HIV care and support model.The TB prevention for HIV infected clients and TB treatment support for TB/HIV patients
  • Improved knowledge and expertise of local people on Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS through school-based and community-based communication.Results of audience-tracked forms showed significant improvement in audience’s understanding and perception towards PLHIV
  • Built capacity for ethnic poor households to improve their household economy through training courses on flower planting and livestock raising.

“Thanks to the seed money from the project, we are now raising 8 pigs and about 30 chickens. It is expected to earn more than 2000.000 million VND after 3 months from selling chickens, in which 1 000.000 VND will be the net profit” (A household affected by HIV/AIDS said).

Built capacity for grassroots level health professionals and HIV/AIDS workers and project stakeholders through refresher-training on HIV/AIDS and Reproductive health for educational staff at grass-roots levels, establishment of community volunteer network, training on TB/HIV for communal health workers, and an exchange visit to HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support model in Khanh Hoa

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