The LINKAGES project helps countries to use evidence‐based approaches to make comprehensive HIV services easily available to key populations (KP) at scale and to sustain those services. FHI 360 and its partners provide overarching technical leadership in KP programming and respond flexibly to USAID request for support. The project goal will be achieved through the following results: • Results Area 1: Increased availability of comprehensive prevention, care and treatment services, including reliable coverage across the continuum of care for key populations.
- Results Area 2: Demand for comprehensive prevention, care and treatment services among key populations enhanced and sustained.
- Results Area 3: Strengthened systems for planning, monitoring, evaluating and assuring the quality of programs for key populations.
In June 2017, USAID extended the scope of LINKAGES in India to provide HIV prevention, care and support services to children of Key Populations (KPs), for which a fourth result area was added to LINKAGES as below:
- Results Area 4: Improved health and well-being of all children of KPs through age-appropriate, tailored interventions and linkages to critical health and non-health services.
The intervention with children of KP (referred to as Orphans and Vulnerable Children or OVC), is being implemented across six cluster Pepfar districts in Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra; and four additional districts in three North Eastern states of India, namely: Imphal East and Imphal West in Manipur; Dimapur in Nagaland; and Aizawl in Mizoram. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, across all 10 intervention districts, the project is expected to reach 7,700 caregivers and 2,500 children of KP living with HIV (KPLHIV) with a comprehensive package of services; and 20,000 adolescent girls and boys between 10-18 years with life skills education (LSE).
In Mizoram, Center for Community Development through Network, Education, Research, Training, Resource Mobilization and Capacity Building (Cod Nerc), a not-for-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) has been selected through a proposal process to oversee the implementation of the OVC component of Linkages. Cod Nerc will provide technical assistance (TA) to fourteen Targeted Interventions (TI) in Aizawl district for reaching 3175 children of KP and 600 KP caregivers. These will include 375 children of KPLHIV in the age group of 0-18 years and 2,800 adolescents in the age group of 10-18 years of all KP.
The project started rolling out from March ,2019.The state of Mizoram is co-ordinated by one State OVC Co-ordinator. One Project Director, One Project manager, One Monitoring & Evaluation Officer and a Finance Officer is recruited for the office staff.13 Child Care Facilitator and 13 Child Mobilizer are recruited and are posted in 14 TI NGO of Aizawl District to carry out the field activities.
An orientation programme which includes all the Project Manager of the TI NGOs, SACS officials, NETSU officials etc is organises on 20th -21st March,2019 followed by a Training on Lifeskills Education for all the newly appointed OVC staffs on 22nd-23rd March,2019.Another Orientation Program was organised on 9th April,2019 at Floria Hotel Banquet Hall which includes participants from the TI NGOs, Project Sunrise staffs, SACS, NETSU,DAPCU and all the staffs and officials of OVC Project.