HIV Status of Vulnerable Children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Enhancing Services and Linkages for Children Affected by HIV and AIDS (ELIKIA) project works to improve the wellbeing of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by building the resilience of children affected by HIV/AIDS and the capacity of the social welfare system to support a better continuum of care. ELIKIA is currently being implemented by Education Development Center, Inc., with Palladium, Catholic Relief Services, and Caritas Katanga as partners. Since the project’s inception, its leadership has worked to establish a culture of data use among partners. The project has instituted weekly monitoring and evaluation data review meetings for staff from all partners (from M&E directors to community health workers) to collectively discuss project data to measure progress. The project is in the process of finalizing a database that uses a DHIS 2 tracker to display information on dashboards organized by partner, health zone, and community health worker. These databases will be updated in real time to manage project performance and ensure success.

Among the many examples of project data use, one in particular stands out, based on the abundance of evidence of a strong commitment to and culture for data use. The United States President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) requires the project to report the OVC_HIVSTAT indicator. Like the OVC HIV status indicator in this compendium, this indicator catalogs the percentage of orphans and vulnerable children with HIV status reported to the implementing partner. As soon as members of this project were able to review the data for this indicator, they learned, through disaggregation, that a few program-supported OVC who are HIV-positive were not on treatment. This discovery prompted the partners to devise strategies and approaches to reduce the numbers of children who do not know their status. ELIKIA has subsequently begun to work with case managers to ensure that all HIV-positive OVC have commenced treatment. They used the sample graph and table below to mobilize partners. (Note that the data are illustrative and are not representative of data reported to USAID or PEPFAR.)

 Source: Nena do Nascimento Jenny Mwanza, ELIKIA project, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Please click here to access the indicator definition for HIV status of vulnerable children.

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