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Akum village

Launching of the anti-HIV/AIDS project and mass voluntary counseling and testing (MVCT)

17th June 2006

The ceremony started at 12.40am with the following attendees: The Fon of Akum, The Divisional Officer for Santa, The District Medical Officer, The Chief Executive Officer of COPAAP, and The Vice President of the Akum Welfare Association (AWA).

The vice president of AWA, who was also the chairperson of the occasion, prayed for the success of the the project launch and expressed appreciation to the personalities and Akum people who came to this very important exercise.

Akum CHV taking oath

Akum CHV taking oath
Akum villagers at the project launch 
Akum villagers at the project launch
Akum CHVs and dignitaries at launch
Akum community health volunteers (CHVs) and dignitaries

The Fon then welcomed all those present. He thanked and blessed Dr. Achu for choosing AWA to be one of the associations to participate in the HIV/AIDS project. He expressed satisfaction in the fact that the Akum people now understand and believe that HIV/AIDS does exist. He pleaded for a second phase of the MVCT during which time many of the Akum people (especially the youth now on holidays) will come out.

The President of AWA paid tribute to Dr. Achu for accepting their project proposal and forwarding it to Care Cameroon. He acknowledged the training of some AWA executive members, their community health volunteers (CHVs) and the laboratory technician that COPAAP had already carried out. He encouraged his Akum brothers and sisters to contribute generously to the Solidarity Fund. While he regretted the absence of most youth, he promised to work with the CHV to sensitise and mobilize them to freely come out during the next screening session. He then congratulated the CHVs and encouraged them to use the skills acquired from the COPAAP training for the benefit of all Akum people.

Dr. Achu in his speech gave honour to all the administrative and community authorities who were present. He gave them a brief outline of COPAAP, its objectives, Care Cameroon – Global Fund financial assistance, the role of the community and development association (CUDA) in the fight against HIV, the role and duties of the CHVs and the support of COPAAP in their project which was to be launched. While not undermining other development projects, he emphasized that the HIV/AIDS project should be the number one priority development project. He called on the trained volunteers to live by example and asked the Akum people to collaborate with their volunteers and also to give them the confidence in the performance of the duties. Dr. Achu also highlighted that the prevention of mother to child transmission is to be taken seriously by pregnant women and is done free of charge in all hospitals. The community health volunteers then took their oath in public and received their end-of-course certificates. 

The DMO praised the initiative and efforts of Dr. Achu in the strategy he has engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS using the cultural and development associations to penetrate the grass roots. He noted with dismay the poor attendance of youth during the MVCT. He went further to mobilize the elderly people present to go and encourage the children and grandchildren to come out for the screening because the youth are most vulnerable and therefore need to know their status in other to live positively. He praised Care Cameroon – Global Fund for providing the funds in the fight against HIV/AIDS in many villages of the North West Province including Akum. He informed COPAAP, the CHVs, AWA and the Akum population of the readiness of his service to come to their assistance anytime so that someday HIV/AIDS will be history.

After launching the Solidarity Fund, the mass voluntary counselling and testing was started. 
The following statistics were recorded:

Number of people tested 270
Number of people who tested positive 22 (18 women, 4 men)