Swaziland has a relatively high HIV prevalence in the world and studies show that the prevalence rate is higher in the urban areas than in the rural. In response to the epidemic, the Municipal Council of Manzini launched and established the Alliance of Mayors’ Initiative for Community Aids Action at Local Level (AMICAALL).
The aim was to build the capacity of urban residents to respond to the challenges of HIV and AIDS. Therefore, the main activities of the programme are coordination of the response, community mobilization and capacity building through training of community volunteers.
As part of this initiative the programme has put in place several interventions towards the prevention of the spread of the pandemic including care, support and impact mitigation in line with the national priorities.
- Manzini HIV/AIDS Programme is one of the 12 programmes being coordinated by AMICAALL.
- The Manzini programme is the oldest and started as a pilot which then saw eleven other towns establishing same programmes.
- Manzini was the first local authority to fully integrate the HIV/AIDS programme into Council, followed by Mbabane.
- It was also the first to have an HIV/AIDS specialist clinic as well as a general primary health care clinic.
- Funding is provided by AMICAALL through NERCHA and other donor agencies as well as strategic partners.
To build the capacity of urban communities and local government to respond to the HIV and AIDS epidemic at the local level.
- This is done through the implementation of specific Prevention, Impact Mitigation, Care and Support and Response Management activities as set out in the Swaziland National Multi-sectoral HIV and AIDS Strategic Framework (NSP) 2014-18.
- Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC ) care - (There are eight social centres within Manzini municipality wherein thousands of vulnerable children benefit in terms of food and education every day)
- Community Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT)
- Home-Based Care
- Condom distribution
- Youth Peer Education
- Voluntary Counselling & Testing
- Provision of Antiretroviral Therapy
- Community Education (Dialogues)
- Advocacy through Commemoration of special days e.g. World AIDS Day
- The establishment of the LaMvelase Help Centre, an exclusively HIV and AIDS oriented health facility, which started operating in 2005.
- Partnership with the AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), FLAS & PSI through AMICAALL.
- At inception, the target was to reach a maximum of 500 clients, however, by 2009, the centre had over 3,500 clients which was way beyond the carrying capacity of the building. As a result, an extra waiting area had to be provided making use of an available open space.
- In 2009 the red LOVE condom was launched, a programme imported from overseas and became very popular.
- Clinic figures continued soaring and today the facility has a total of 9694 clients (2014/15 financial year statistics).
- Approximately 50 people are initiated on ART every month.
- Another expansion, funded by AHF, was officially opened by the honourable Minister of Housing and Urban Development recently.
- The facility today offers fully integrated HIV/AIDS services (TB, & SRH services like FP, ANC, STIs and cervical cancer screening).
- Poor funding for community based programmes.
- Attrition of programme volunteers.
- Inadequate resources for the eight (8) social centres.