Bethesda Aids Action Team Project is situated at the Jozini Health Clinic in the Umkhanyakude District in KwaZulu-Natal. It services five tribal authorities and is a typical rural area where poverty & unemployment are widespread. With HIV/AIDS prevalence rates of 26% a need has arisen to focus on home based care and provide support to orphans in the area. Partnerships have been formed with the provincial Departments of Health and Welfare. These two departments assist in the provision of professional nurses, counseling services, transport, foster placements, food parcels and with the application of disability grants. The Bristol Meyer Squibb, Faith Based Organizations, the Sibambisene HIV/AIDS and the Ubombo HIV/AIDS project provide funding. The project takes care of children and the spiritual needs of the sick.
Innovation: This project works together with government, traditional leaders, faith based agencies, CBOs, NGOs and the local government to provide a service to those infected with the AIDS virus and those affected by the virus.
Effectiveness: 90 clients are cared for in the home-based care programme, while 10 ministers have been trained with regard to HIV/AIDS issues. 150 home-based carers have been trained. 3 volunteer counseling and testing centres have been established and each centre counsels 120 clients per month. 3 sites host the mother-to-child transmission programme where 259 mothers are on nevirapine programme. Mothers and babies who receive nevirapine number 111 and 117 respectively.
Poverty Impact: Those who are assisted feel empowered to continue with their lives, while having the strength to continue to fend for their children.
Sustainability: funding and community participation are the main stumbling blocks to the sustainability of the project.
Replication: If sustainability issues are addressed then replication is possible.