KAYONZA — The Rwanda Association for Rural Development (ARDR) has designed a new strategy to encourage more people to go for HIV/AIDS voluntary testing by extending the services to public places like markets.
While conducting HIV testing in Kayonza market at the weekend, Jean Munyurangabo, the Executive Director of ARDR, said they started the new strategy last year and many people have embraced it.
“Because of this we carry out sensitisation campaigns and attract many people coming for the tests,” Munyurangabo said, explaining that they chose the new strategy to extend services closer to the people.
“It is easy for people to be tested from here since they hit two birds with one stone due to time constrain, which is a problem to many. But here they get their results in a fast and easy way,” he said.
More youths participate in the testing, it was revealed. Follow up is made, the number of the infected is established, and those who test positive are given counselling and advised to join associations of people living with the virus. This is to help them get assistance according to Munyurangabo.
The project also supports anti HIV/AIDS clubs while promoting literacy in the villages. The training sessions are normally extended to groups such as associations and cooperatives. It also supports orphans by helping them to set up income generating activities.
The HIV testing programme is funded by the Global Fund, under the supervision of the Red Cross. According to Josiane Mukambarushimana, one of the residents, she took an HIV test in order to know her health status.
Laurent Hitimana, a contractor in Kayonza centre said: “I go for blood test every year and I would sometimes go to the health centres during working days and it has not been easy getting them at places of work but this programme of getting services from the market is solving all the hindrances.’