Overcoming Stigmatism for Better Health

Shambani Village, Kenya


In Shambani Village, Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) are doing noble work by teaching the community about sensitive health issues and the fruits of our coaching have been seen after they started paying back to the community with what they learnt in Transformational Community Development (TCD) class. This time around, they received training on how to give counsel to HIV and AIDS victims. It was not easy for them to come into the community and teach people how they could accept themselves as HIV victims, since everyone was afraid of being stigmatized by the community. Villagers feared it to be known that they were HIV positive.


The journey was tough for CHVs since many people didn’t accept the teaching. They didn’t lose hope; they continued teaching people, and they went door to door educating people how they could control this disease. The first step was if you have the disease, you have to accept it, take medication and always maintain a positive attitude. And the second was that, if you don’t have the disease, you have to prevent yourself from getting it. Fruits of the CHV’s work were seen within the Shambani community after one man who heard the teaching decided to open up to CHVs concerning his status. CHVs started teaching him about how he can live a happy life and avoiding stigmatization. He was taught first to take medicines without skipping doses. The second thing was to accept himself.


At first, Francis didn’t even want to be known, but now he has decided to come out in the open and share his journey of total transformation as he joined CHVs in the process of stopping stigmatization and HIV spread. He became a role model for other villagers living with HIV and AIDS and gave great motivation to the CHVs as they kept on giving help and hope to many like Francis.


Francis is now open about his status and he is living a positive life as he accepted his situation. At the same time, he is thankful for GHNI working together with CHVs so that they can help people.