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WORLD BANK (HAF) HPDP11 PROJECT
Women’s Organization for Development and Empowerment of Communities (WODECO) is one of the Civil Society Organizations that benefitted from the HIV/AIDS Programme Development Project (HPDP11) supported by the World Bank.
HPDP11 is follow-on to HPDP1 that ended in year 2010 and is aimed at consolidating the achievements of HPDP1 through reduction in the risk of HIV infection.
The target audiences targeted by WODECO’s intervention are Commercial Sex Workers who fall within the Most at Risk Populations (MARPs). This group contributes a significant portion of new HIV infections as a result of multiple partnerships because female sex workers provide sexual service to their clients, boyfriends and regular partners who in turn provide sexual services to other members of the general populace thereby increasing the risk of new infections. Another target audience addressed by WODECO’s intervention is transport workers who are also involved in multiple partnerships.
The project which is for a period of 18 months is being carried out among 354 commercial sex workers in Ipokia, Abeokuta North, Abeokuta South, Ado-odo/Ota, Yewa North, Yewa South, and 155 transport workers in Ewekoro, Remo North and Obafemi Owode Local Government Areas of Ogun state.
Some of the project outcome is to achieve 50% increase in the number of CSWs that know their HIV status, 50% increase in the number of CSWs attending STI clinics regularly,50% increase in number of CSWs knowledgeable about HIV prevention and 50% of CSWs reporting decline in work related violence .
In carrying out the project, WODECO implemented delivery of three minimum prevention package interventions tailored to the targets’ designs and needs using existing communities and social structures.
The Project Coordinator, Mary Ajayi and the project team commenced the project in July 2014with an inaugural meeting held in WODECO’s office in Abeokuta.
This was followed by the first informal contacts and community Stakeholders’ dialogues with gatekeepers and influencers, hotel owners/managers, Madams/Chairpersons, Motor Parks Chairpersons, Union Leaders and barmen who arranged the necessary connections with Female Sex Workers and Transport Workers respectively.
54 Peer Educators selected for FSWs and 15 for Transport Workers were trained and they in turn then held step down trainings for their peers after which graduation ceremonies were held in the various communities.
HIV Counselling and Testing sessions were carried out and those who tested positive to the virus and STIs were referred to Health Facilities and followed up appropriately..