Unfinished Business (UB) South Africa

The National Department of Health (NDoH) in South Africa is committed to fast track its progress towards ending AIDS by 2030 and achieving the UNAIDs 90-90-90 targets by 2020 for people living with HIV (PLHIV). To achieve these ambitious goals, South Africa’s NDoH has partnered with leading organizations and experts in the country and deployed a targeted approach for identification, linkage, treatment and retention. Specifically, in partnership with the ELMA Philanthropies Services (Africa) (Pty) Ltd. (“ELMA”), the Unfinished Business (UB) Consortium consisting of a partnership between provincial departments of health and implementing partners (IP) was created in 2015 to improve paediatric and adolescent coverage in the districts with the highest prevalence of HIV. Through these efforts, the UB Consortium in Johannesburg, eThekwini, uMgungundlovu, Zululand, and uMkhanyakude districts tested 818,920 children and adolescents <20, identified 30,691 (3.7% of those tested), and initiated 21,968 on ART (81% linkage to ART rate for children < 15 and 64% for adolescents 15-19).

Although meaningful progress has been made, gaps still exist, due to South Africa’s high disease burden, the 90-90-90 targets are still not yet in sight, especially for the paediatric and adolescent populations where the country has only met ~55% of its identification and treatment targets. As such, the UB Consortium aims to build off the learnings and successes of its achievements through a second phase of the project; UB Phase II: 2019 to 2022, to support South Africa achieve 90-90-90 for the paediatric and adolescent populations living with HIV.  The goal for UB Phase II will be to identify, implement and scale proven intervention strategies focused on case identification, strong linkage systems and improved retention and viral suppression.

Unfinished Business (UB) South Africa

The UB Phase II Consortium (“Consortium”) will work at a national, provincial, district, facility and community level and will employ a targeted approach focused on the paediatric and adolescent populations. The Consortium is comprised of the lead technical partner, Clinton Health Access Initiative – South Africa NPC (“CHAI”),  four Implementing Partners, namely AIDS Foundation of South Africa (“AFSA”), Anova Health Institute NPC (“Anova”), the Health Systems Trust (“HST”) Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute (“Wits RHI”), as well as three additional partners, namely the National Institute for Communicable Diseases (“NICD”), MTV Shuga and Paediatric AIDS Treatment for Africa (“PATA”), and The ELMA Philanthropies Services (Africa) (Pty) Ltd. (“ELMA”).

Within UB PATA supports the consortium of partners through provision of technical support and access to a broader regional linking and learning platform. PATA’s support has been structured according to the four key priority areas of a) integration and adoption of Peer Support Models; b) adapting treatment care and support services, and peer models in light of COVID-19; c) clinic community collaboration (C3); and d) facilitating linking and learning platforms and supporting partner requests.

Facilitator’s Guide for Virtual Youth Care Clubs

Unfinished Business (UB) South Africa

This guide will help you prepare, conduct and administer remote care and support using a virtual platform like WhatsApp. The guide includes 19 stepwise sessions that cover a range of important health and life skill areas with additional resource links.   

Sessions in the attached guide are based on the YCC workbook sessions as developed by Wits RHI and Cool Communications, a monthly newsletter developed by ANOVA Health Institute. This guide was developed by ANOVA who sought to continue providing support to young people living with HIV during the period of COVID-19 lockdowns. As restrictions are lifted, there will be a continued need to offer this type of support.  Remote and virtual groups can reach more young people, offers convenience and structured support between clinic visits or face to face support meetings. 

Through the Unfinished Business Consortium in South Africa, supported by ELMA Philanthropies PATA worked with ANOVA Health Institute to structure, strengthen and design these virtual sessions further to become a replicable tool. We are happy to share the final guidance with consortium and network partners in the hope that you may benefit from these lessons and adaptations made during COVID-19. We are confident that these sessions, with their practical guidance can be used as is or adapted for local settings into a virtual space, facilitating engagement, and offering quality care and support.    

Unfinished Business partners