Working with the Local Government Authorities [LGAs] to Address HIV and AIDS
The NMSF stipulates that coordination of HIV and AIDS interventions should be conducted within the existing structures and therefore the LGAs are the hubs for coordination at the local level.
In the effort to fulfill the above condition, tacaid in collaboration with PMO-RALG through the tacaid Act, section 13 and LGA Act No. 7 & 8 of 1982 established Multi-sectoral AIDS Committees [MACs] at all levels of the LGAs to coordinate AIDS interventions within their areas of jurisdiction.
The MACs consists of the Council Multi-sectoral AIDS Committees [CMACs], Ward Multi-sectoral AIDS Committees [WMACs] and Village/Mtaa Multi-sectoral AIDS Committees VMACs/MMACs.
The functions of the MACs are contained in the guidelines that formed them as follows:
- Coordination of HIV and AIDS activities in the Council
- Supervise formation and proper functioning of lower MACs
- Review HIV and AIDS situation in the LGA and advise accordingly
- Facilitate evaluation of real AIDS situation in the LGAs
- Review various stakeholders activities to avoid double efforts
- Coordinate participatory planning, implementation and evaluation
- Mobilize resources from various stakeholders
- Provide advice on By-laws and policies concerning HIV and AIDS control at different levels
Following the formation of the MACs to coordinate multi-sectoral Response to HIV/AIDS epidemic tacaid facilitated a needs assessment to establish capacity to execute roles and responsibilities
The needs assessment resulted into development of 10 training manuals/Modules which were then used to train the CMACs in 132 councils:
- Basic Facts, Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS
- Social Cultural Factors and Concepts
- Team Building, Leadership and Partnership
- Resource Management
- Participatory HIV/AIDS Planning
- Participatory M&E
- Proposal Writing and Assessment
- Report Writing
- Communication and Facilitation
The early days of the MACs [2003 to 2006] LGA were asked to submit HIV/AIDS plans to tacaid which after review, viable activities were funded.
The disadvantage of funding separate AIDS plans lies in the tendency to make HIV and AIDS a project thus depriving the LGAs the opportunity to perceive it as part of the struggle for development.
Since HIV/AIDS epidemic has adversely impacted on every sector at all levels, interventions should be coordinated both vertically and horizontally. Mainstreaming becomes the best way to ensure all sector participation and involvement as well as ownership.
In this case mainstreaming of HIV and AIDS was effected in 2006/2007 fiscal year when HIV and AIDS activities first featured in the LGA Development plans. for the first time.
Given the dynamic nature of the epidemic, building the capacity of the LGAs is one of the key elements of tacaid coordinating role.
Having trained the CMACs and effected mainstreaming of HIV and AIDS into the LGAs plans tacaid is looking forward to building the capacity of the Ward level, the Village level and subsequently the House Hold [HH] level. It is through empowerment of the grass root communities and individuals at the HH level can we talk of effective and successful control of HIV and AIDS epidemic