About the branch office
OSSA Bahir Dar Branch was established in 1994 and started working by initiating and advocating care and support for those people infected and affected by the virus and promoting awareness and education aimed at ensuring the behavioral change to happen among the community.
Main intervention areas include:
- Targeted index case testing (HCT)
- Care and support to OVCs, PLHIVs and their families
- Awareness creation through massive community mobilizations
- Capacity building for CBOs, PLHIV associations and other implementing partners
- Economic strengthening
- MARPs focused programmes including the CSW, PLHIVs, and vulnerable youth done through integrating the SRH and HIV / AIDS health services.
The branch office extends its comprehensive services to reach more people living in vast areas of Amhara regional state. Based in Bahir Dar and Debremarkos towns, the branch office stretches its scope of service and works in five zones whose names are North Gondar, East Gojam, Awi zone, West Gojam and Bahir Dar special zone. All together, HIV/AIDS related health care services have been given in 7 woredas, 9 sub cities of Bahir Dar and 4 satellite towns.
Simegnew Alene, Branch Manager
Human Resources and Volunteers
- HIV prevention
- Care and support
- Capacity building
- HIV counseling and testing (VCT)
- Integration of HIV/AIDS and SRH
- OVCs support programme
|S/No||Core programme activities||Donor||Target|
|1||VCT for PLHIVs and their families including care and support services||CDC||20,000||20,000||40,000|
|2||Promoting better SRH services for vulnerable young people||Netherlands||6,000||10,000||16,000|
|3||WFP urban food and nutrition support for OVCs & PLHIVs||WFP||1,336||1,835||3,171|
|4||Care and protection service for children with the meaning full participation of family, community and the government||Wereldkindren||164||136||300|
Donors and partners
|Dutch government||√||Young people|
|World Food Programme (WFP)||√||OVCs|
|Save the Children||√||Children|
Major achievements over the last six years
- Over 9,020 OVCs and children got care and support services and able to improve their lives
- School based IGA have been established in 22 primary schools & benefited children
- Stigma and discrimination against HIV infected and affected children in school have been dramatically reduced
- About 450 people living with HIV/AIDS have been engaged in income generating activities and improved their livelihoods
- Over 283 OVC guardians and people living with HIV/AIDS got access to various vocational skill trainings
- About 3,555 people living with HIV/AIDS got comprehensive care and support services and able to lead healthy and stable lives
- A total of 11,005 young people identified as commercial sex workers (CSWs), PLHIVs and in & out of school youth have got integrated sexually and reproductive health information and education
- About 1,078 young people have got access to quality and use friendly SRH services through referrals
- About 32,008 people received voluntary counseling and testing services through mobile VCT approach
- About 3,608 people got access to HCT services through home based HCT modality
- About 6,096 people have got testing and counseling (HCT) through an index case testing approach
- About 186 PLHIV peer support groups have been established and gradually converted to saving groups to lead economically self-sustained lives
- 17 AACs, 7 CBOs, 22 primary schools, 4 PLHIV associations, 4 University campuses, 7 health facilities have been strengthened through training and material supports
- About 360,000 communities have been mobilized through mass education on the prevention of HIH/AIDS
- One model child parliament has been established and functioning very well
- About 210,000 condoms have been promoted and distributed to key populations in need of them
- About 100,000 IEC/BCC materials carrying different messages have been produced and distributed to key populations as awareness creation tools.
Partnership and networking
OSSA Bahir Dar branch office has developed strong partnership and networking with the government bodies, civil society organizations, associations and communities.
- Regional health bureau
- Regional bureau of finance and economy (BOFED)
- Regional HIV/AIDS prevention and control office (AHAPCO)
- Regional women, children and youth affairs (WCYA)
- Bahir Dar city administration
- All respective government office in Bahir Dar town and satellite cities
- All respective government offices at the zone levels
- Mekidim Ethiopia, Dawn of hope, Wogagen, Birhan Women PLHIV associations
- Sefeneselam and Asgobie community based organizations
- Helina, Misirakchora, Amature and Bukaya Anti- AIDS associations
- Other 7 service outlets in CDC project
OSSA Bahir Dar branch closely works with non-governmental organizations such as Wise- up, Maheber Hiwot, DKT, FHI 360, Family Guidance Association Ethiopia (FGAE), Marie stops International Ethiopia (MSI), Alma, ORDA and other faith-based NGOs like Meserete Kiristos, kalewonegl, Muluwongel etc.
Link Up Project
This project was officially launched in 2014 and effectively implemented by the branch office. The project targets vulnerable young people who are considered key populations having the age range of 10-24 years. The commercial sex workers, young people in school and out of school and young PLHIVs are the main target communities included in the project. The project runs around 4 outcome pillars of which awareness creation and information about sexual reproductive health and rights takes the dominant position. Peer education and sessions have been done to realize the project.
Comprehensive service deliveries through referrals and building the capacity of care givers and implementing partners are also key functions of the project.
Following the peer education trainings, the branch office has been intensively working on conducting the numerous sessions where PLHIVs, CSWs and young people in/out of school have been involved. The trained peer educators are the champions of these session events.
Community wide events
Community wide events target large number of people gathered together to learn more about the epidemic from the activities and messages delivered in open space events. Anti AIDS Clubs (AACs) often act as catalysts in delivering messages through drama, music, questions and answer sessions, and other edutainment. Panel discussions do much in bringing knowledge and understanding about the epidemic and its mitigations. Coffee ceremony has been used as fantastic tool to bring people together and discuss on common issues as being done in cultural norms.
Information about HIV and SRH can also be delivered to public through production and distribution of IEC/BCC materials. Leaflets, T-shirts, caps and banners holding clear messages about HIV and SRH including family planning were distributed in large quantities. The IEC/BCC materials along with condoms were distributed to people attended the community wide events to help the community learn more about the epidemic and means of reducing risk of infections, the sexual reproductive health and rights and family planning.
To improve the quality of integrated SRH and HIV/AIDS services that are provided to the young people, the branch office has been supporting the implementing partners and health facilities operating in its intervention areas.
HIV testing programmes
This project is supported by CDC and currently targetting families to be tested through newly introducced index case testing apprach. Once the positive person is found, he/she is used as a bridge to reach the rest of the family members. OSSA Bahir Dar branch has progressed in familirazing with this new approach and achieved remarkable results in a short period of time. Those tested and found positive are linked to health facilities to get essenatial treatments like ART and other related medications.
Orphan vulnerable children are supported in every aspect. Education support is one of the comprehensive supports given to children in need of them. Every year OSSA Bahir Dar branch identifies those children needing support and provides material supports such as school bags, exercise books, pencils, pens and other essential materials needed for their education.
Income generating activities (IGA)
OSSA Bahir Dar branch office effectively works on income generating activities to economically empower the needy people concerned with aspect of engagement in business to generate income from the commercial venture. The branch supports the target beneficiaries to get the advantage of this opportunity through facilitation of seed money, provision of entrepreneurial and business skill trainings and follow ups.