About The Branch Office
OSSA Hawassa branch is one of the 13th branches of OSSA which was established in 1994 to work towards meeting the vision, goals and objectives of OSSA in general. The branch office has been engaged in a great deal of HIV and AIDS programmatic activities targeting OVCs, youth, adults, PLHIVs, sex workers and general public.
W/ro Damenech Chaffo, Branch Manager
Where we work OSSA Hawassa hosts three viable projects at the moment CDC, LINKUP and NCA. OSSA Hawassa branch offices located in SNNPR namely, Hawassa City Administration. With these project OSSA contributes important tasks to the integration of vital SRH interventions and generate important evidence to aid the broader SRHR/HIV integration movement and the overall national efforts to reduce new HIV infections, AIDS related morbidity and mortality and mitigate its impacts through improving the quality of life for youth, people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS.
Menaharia Kifel ketema piazza 2-06 kebele
Tel : +251-911-46-10-55/+251-934-97-22-86
Contact Person : W/ro Damenech Chaffo, Branch Manager
In the past years, the branch office has been running the HIV prevention programme, integration of HIV/AIDS and SRH, HIV counseling and testing, livelihood and other health related problems facing the target beneficiaries. The branch’s scope of activities also encompasses care and support for people infected and affected by the virus and community capacity building.
Maintaining the long years status quo, the branch has been working on an integrated set of programmatic activities focusing on:
- Care and support,
HIV prevention is the prime focus for OSSA since its inception. Its programme is aimed at preventing the transmission of HIV/AIDS which comes through unprotected sex, from mothers to infants, transmission from harmful practices and to improve health care delivery to those people infected by the virus. The branch office works with the initiative which aims to reduce the barriers of early diagnosis of HIV infections and increase access to medical care and treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS.
The branch office uses the commonly known prevention methods which includes the following.
- Promotion and distribution of condoms
- Production and distribution of IEC/BCC materials
- Mass education
- Community conversation
- Organizing events
- ART adherence counseling Etc.
Care and Support:
While accesses to testing and counseling and referral linkages are extremely important, the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS extend beyond these services. The care and support service strategies need to be vast and comprehensive. To this point, the care and support programme run by the branch office has two main classifications. These are care and support for PLHIVs and care support service for OVCs. With the exception of educations supports and few others which exclusively go to children, the care and support services given to both groups are more or less similar. The care and support service largely includes:
- Psychosocial support
- Home based health care service
- Food and nutrition
- Livelihood Education support (for OVCs only)
- House renovations Etc
Community involvement, especially people living with HIV/AIDS in the provision of care and support service is quite important for the realization of the programme. The work promotes social solidarity with HIV infected people and their families, provides them with emotional support, health care and material support and play key role in fighting against stigma and discriminations.
Partners and Donors
OSSA Hawassa branch has been doing its intervention in collaboration with CBOs, NGOs, youth clubs, anti AIDS clubs (AACs), FBOs and concerned government bureaus and offices and communities living in Hawassa and its suburb areas.
Throughout the branch’s long time journey, several donors were collaborating and providing technical and financial supports for the realization of the programmes implemented by the branch office. Currently, CDC, VIVO (sponsors of OVCs) and NCA have continued to extend their funding support for the implementation of projects designed for HIV counseling and testing, community focused HIV response and orphan vulnerable children sponsorship programme. Link Up project supported by Dutch government made great contribution in the realization of the integration of HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health (SRH).
With these projects, OSSA Hawassa branch contributes important tasks to the integration of vital SRH interventions and generate important evidence to aid the broader SRH/HIV integration movement and the overall national efforts to reduce new HIV infections and as a result, AIDS related morbidity and mortality have been reduced due to the mitigation of its impacts through maintaining proper health care and improving the quality of life for youth, sex workers and people living with or affected by HIV and AIDS.
The branch currently makes huge efforts to address the health and social problems through the prevention, care, treatment and supports needs of individuals, households and communities affected and infected by HIV/AIDS by providing integrated care and support services and building the capacity of anti-AIDS clubs, supplying IEC/BCC materials, community based organizations and other actors so that they can provide meaningful services to selected targets in Hawassa town and surrounding rural areas. The target communities are people living with HIV/AIDS, youth, sex workers, OVCs and the general public.
In year 2015 alone, by financial support obtained from CDC, OSSA Hawassa branch has been working to address about 5,000 family members of PLHIVs with the provision of HTC services and making referral linkages to health facilities covering vast areas of Hawassa, Yirgalem and Dilla towns. 228 volunteers and 6 social workers are intensively working on the provision of care and treatment of PLHIVs and their families.
By the support of Dutch government which the fund flow came through the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, a total of 3,000 PLHIVs got peer education on SRH and HIV related topics and obtained integrated family planning services in the government health facilities and Marie Stops International and ART services through referrals. In addition to these services, PLHIVs were capacitated through different trainings focused on prevention with positives which included ART adherence, risk reduction and counseling. All services were provided by OSSA branch office in association with its partners such as Marie Stops clinics and PLHIV associations/Dawn of Hope & Tilla Positive Women Associations/. Dawn of Hope & Tilla Positive Women Associations have remained supportive to reach their peers getting SRH and HIV information and services.
Commercial Sex Workers (CSWs)
3,000 commercial sex workers were able to get SRH and HIV education through peer education, group events and community wide events by the active involvement of their peer educators and facilitators. Peer educations were conducted in the bars, hotels and in their homes. OSSA is not limited only on providing SRH and HIV information to raise the awareness but also provides integrated SRH and HIV services through its partner clinics mentioned above.
A total of 6,000 in school youth and 2,400 out of school youth were included in the programme and got the SRH and HIV education through peer education sessions, group events and school wide events. The anti AIDS clubs (AACs), youth associations, the girls’ only clubs and government youth centers have been very essential for the realization of peer education sessions.
Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) has been supporting and working with the branch office for the last 18 years. By this continued support, OSSA Hawassa branch has dealt with thousands of people victimized by HIV, OVCs and Grannies with care and support through provision of educational materials supports and provision of the psychosocial, medical, palliative and non palliative cares services. In summary, the branch office has been doing jobs to address the health and social problems through:
- Linking every activity in the project to the local community
- Strengthening linkages of the project to the government bodies
- Establishing the strong network with health service givers (e.g., Adare District Hospital, SOS, Mary joy, Marie Stops)
- Establishing the referral system and conducting the index case testing on HIV focus groups
- Providing the education and nutritional material support for thousands of OVCs
- Conducting linkages and medical referral of PLHIVs to health facilities such as the government hospitals, alpha pharmacy, etc.
- Provision of psychosocial support through home base care providers
- Strengthening 24 CSSG groups to increase the household income of PLHIVs and to decrease dependencies
- Promotion and motivation of over 27,600 peoples to get access to HTC services through mass media, IEC/BCC materials dissemination and sensitizations, etc.
The branch has 14 employees who actually have formal contractual employment with the organization and who are committed to do the day-to-day activities of the branch office. Of this number, 7 are professional staff and the remaining 7 are administrative and auxiliary staff put in place to support the core activities of the branch office.