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Taking the vaccine to key populations

Sex workers and people who inject drugs, who are considered ‘key populations’ in terms of HIV, face huge barriers in accessing health services, even in the best of times. During a global pandemic, this issue is even more acute. These groups are not only more at risk of contracting Covid-19, but many are also more likely to become seriously ill if they do contract Covid-19 (a high proportion of key populations are living with HIV, TB and other co-morbidities that make them vulnerable to Covid). Despite this, they are struggling to access the national vaccination programme. Many key populations are…

Treat people with humanity to build a better society

There is a painful story behind many of the people you see sleeping on the pavements, under bus shelters and on concrete floors in cities around the country. There were once dreams and aspirations behind those weary eyes. Most people walk past blindly, not seeing their humanity. But if one sits closely and listens to their stories, one picks up a human story: of people who long to return to society and accomplish their dreams. Werner Beukers is a 42-year-old man who has been homeless for the last 10 years due to drug use, attitudes towards people who inject drugs…

Turning the tide on GBV

August, the Minister of Police announced a staggering 74% increase in reported sexual offences in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the previous year. This is on top of already very high levels of violence in the country. NACOSA works closely with donors, government, organisations and communities across South Africa to try to turn the tide on gender based violence (GBV). Our Community Based Violence Prevention and Linkages to Response programme, funded by PEPFAR and USAID, has produced a series of short videos that unpack what GBV is, how to spot it and what to do about it. Our…

Young women influencing the future

When COVID-19 arrived in South Africa in 2020, NACOSA’s My Journey programme for adolescent girls and young women had to swiftly adapt to continue reaching young women and girls with health messaging and support. And so the My Journey Influencer project was born. Thirty young women between 15 and 24 from the My Journey Programme were recruited and trained in health messaging, digital storytelling and social media content creation with the aim of reaching other young women isolated by COVID restrictions and to raise their voices online. According to research conducted by UNICEF in 2015, young people seek advice from…

Data recharge for My Journey Programme

Supply and Activate Data Recharge Units for My Journey Programme CFP-50-AGYW-07-2021 The successful bidder for this call for proposals was: Smart Phone (Pty) Ltd. t/a Smartcall DOCUMENTS Terms of Reference    

Saying goodbye to ‘just say no’

South Africa’s response to drug use has been similar to the initial response to HIV and AIDS: promoting abstinence. The so-called ‘just say no/war on drugs’ approach from the 1980s has, like many other things from the 1980s, outstayed its welcome. The abstinence approach only works for a small minority of people, there are high levels of relapse, and it is extremely difficult to access rehabilitation services in the country. For young people in particular, the ‘just say no’ messaging has little impact. It is now widely accepted that the global ‘war on drugs’ has failed. According to the South…

Charting the journey

Research in 2019 found that adolescent girls and young women, while being at increased risk of acquiring HIV, are not focused on HIV prevention as a significant issue or meaningful priority. It recommends that building a successful HIV prevention strategy means supporting young women in their journey to navigate healthy sexual behaviours and relationship management overall (Breaking the Cycle of Transmission). Informed by this, the My Journey Adolescent Girls and Young Women Programme, funded by the Global Fund, developed an innovative tool for engaging young women on the programme. The My Journey Journal was designed to be an aspirational tool,…

Clinical trials explained

Because we have largest HIV burden in the world, coupled with a very high TB burden, a number of new medicines, devices and vaccines are being trialled in South Africa. And there will be more to come in the next few years. What are clinical trials and what does it mean for someone to be part of one? WHAT IS A CLINICAL TRIAL? A clinical trial is a scientific experiment to understand the risks of a therapy, drug or medical device and whether it will work or not. Clinical trials are conducted on new treatments, but also to look at…

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Incentives for My Journey Programme

Supply and Distribution of Incentives for the My Journey Programme CFP-52-AGYW-07-2021 The procurement process has been finalised, the successful bidder is: Bophela Holding (Pty) Ltd. DOCUMENTS Terms of Reference My Journey Costing Sheet

Evaluation of PrEP in the Sex Work Programme

Process Evaluation of Modalities, Uptake and Retention of PrEP in the Sex Work Programme CFP-01-SWK-08-2021 The procurement process has been concluded. The successful bidder is: Impact Consulting. DOCUMENTS Terms of Reference Annex 1: Submission Template    

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