Since independence, Guinea Bissau has suffered from political instability, with reforms and development being regularly interrupted by coups and armed conflicts. Over the years, the political crisis has disturbed the pursuit of national strategies, leading to a gradual collapse of national structures, and thus affecting the general population, and particularly the rural population. The nation's health system was particularly hard hit. More than half the population lives more than 5 km away from a health center. Moreover, many of these health centres are often entirely inaccessible during the rainy season due to an advanced state of degradation of road infrastructure. In addition, few people can afford the consultation fees charged at the centers.
The prevalence rate of HIV in Guinea-Bissau is about 3.9% (2012 est.). The Secretriado National de Luta Contra le Sida (SNLS) — the government structure in charge of coordinating the HIV response — considers that Gabu region as the most affected and most vulnerable in the country. Gabu town is around 200 km from the capital (Bissau), and is in the corridor to Senegal and Guiné Conakry. The vulnerability of the region is derived from the fact that it has two bordering countries, namely, Senegal to the south east and Guiné Conakry to the south.
Government and Global Fund Support TCE
The TCE Program was launched by ADPP Guinea-Bissau in 2011, with assistance from the SNLS and the Global Fund. The program concentrated in Gabu and Sonaco to the east, covering 70,000 people. In one year, nearly 507,000 condoms were distributed, which were supplied by the SNLS through donations from various European, and South American countries. Field officers also mobilized nearly 1,200 for HIV testing; however, a shortage of supplies did not permit all to receive a test. Other outcomes included 412 mothers enrolling in a PMTCT program. The success of the program in the Gabu region was due to the fact that it has been widely accepted by the authorities, including traditional leaders, church groups, and government authorities.
Community Health Worker Program
ADPP Guinea Bissau is now implementing a community health worker program, a national initiative to reduce the maternal and infant death rate so as to reach the Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health. UNICEF engaged ADPP Guinea-Bissau to implement the Community Health Worker Program in Oio and Farim. The program is training more that 100 community health workers, focusing on the health of pregnant mothers and their smaller children.
Partners Supporting TCE in Guinea-Bissau
- Global Fund
- Secretriado National de Luta Contra le Sida (SNLS)
See our Partnerships page for a comprehensive list of organizations supporting TCE worldwide.