Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group is situated in the north-western part of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and has a population of about 101 548 people living in 49 dispersed rural settlements and three urban areas – 52 settlements in total. The major urban centre is Paulpietersburg/eDumbe, which is well-located in relation to the national road and rail networks. The area of jurisdiction of the municipality is demarcated into eight wards and mainly has a rural population. Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group is operating in KZ 261 municipality and consists rural and urban area, where the Dumbe office is situated in Ward 3.
The municipal area largely comprises of traditional areas and high density rural settlements with communities who are mostly unemployed, lack diverse in literacy and career knowledge, which has trapped the community to HIV, sexually-transmitted infections (STI) and tuberculosis (TB). The organisation was set up in July 1997 and registered in 2001 in response to the increasing HIV/AIDS, STI and TB in that area. The organisation operates directly in six wards and villages with a staff of 25 caregivers, one project manager, one administrator and one finance clerk. It is along the R34 road to Piet Retief and is approximately four kilometres from Paulpietersburg.
The Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group is a registered non-government organisation (NGOs) which has been delivering interactive performances to schools, the community and the workplace. The programme was established due to a high rate of HIV/AIDS, STI and TB in the area as the males travelled to the cities in search of employment but came back ill expecting their partners to look after them. This has led to some partners getting infected.
Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group is taking part in the (operation Sukuma Sakhe) which was launched in August 2008 by KZN premier, Zweli Mkhize (eDumbe local AIDS Council). The council was formed as a tool to fight HIV/AIDS, TB in the area. The major of the eDumbe Local Municipality is the chairperson of the local AIDS Council. The council is represented by all government departments and NGOs, including Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group.
The Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group is an umbrella HIV/AIDS organisation with five organisations are under it. These organisations assist with the administration, registration with the Development of Social Development, the South African Revenue Services and typing up their documents, draft policies and train the volunteers.
Its vision is to promote healthy sexual behaviours and reduce the practice of risky sexual behaviour among the community. It also aims to empower and involve communities and institutional leaders in its HIV/AIDS, STI and TB programmes. The organisation’s mission is to host talk shows and HIV/AIDS, STI prevention awareness in the community, schools, churches, workplace and taverns. In addition, it also provides comprehensive, age appropriate, evidence-based and medically accurate sexual education to promote healthy sexual behaviours.
Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group’s objective is to reach out to the youth with its HIV prevention education and skills-building through small group discussions, dance, theatre, music concerts and sports. Its other objective is to provide clear information to enable people to make informed decisions about preventing STIs, including HIV. Also, it aims to:
- Encourage behaviour change to minimise the risk of infection, usually through increased condom usage, decreased number of sexual partners and decreased incidence of sex with high-risk partners;
- Engage across sectors, including non-traditional partners such as businesses, faith communities, and families;
- Reduce HIV infection risk among youth aged 15-49 through the organisation’s programmes;
- Educate women regarding sexual risk behaviours that expose them to STI and HIV infection, as well as educating teenagers, youth and communities about impact of alcohol and incident of STIs, HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and focuses on sexual and reproductive health rights;
- Distribute condoms and encourage their use in outlets such as taverns, taxi rank, shops and truck stops;
- Youth life skills workshop/training (engaging in activities that promote a healthy and productive lifestyle by increasing their awareness of and uptake of HIV testing MMC, usage of condoms and decrease of teenage pregnancies);
- Awareness campaigns (where the organisation involves the youth and adults that call attention to HIV/AIDS prevention strategies);
- Community dialogue (where the organisation targets the youth and adults with well-defined themes around HIV prevention);
- Youth camps (during school holidays to provide the youth with accurate information about HIV/AIDS);
- Men’s dialogue (targeting men of all ages with well-defined themes around HIV prevention, teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, and MMC); and
- Break the cycle of infection driving high rates between the ages of 15-45 years.
Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group operates in the following areas:
Ward 1 – Luneburg Ezixeni and Lenjane: there is no other organisation in this ward besides Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group, which has only three volunteers working in that area. However, that is not sufficient since the area is too big has a large population of more than 12 300 utilising one clinic.
Ward 3 – Dumbe Location: Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group is the only organisation operating in that area where it has 11 volunteers servicing a population of 21 120.
Ward 5 – Tholakele: Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group has three volunteers working in that area with a population of 13 250 utilising one clinic.
Ward 6 – Bhadeni: The Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group plans to work in that ward. The organisation is aware that the clinic has many TB defaulters and has therefore recruited four volunteers who will work with a population of 11 045 in one clinic. In addition, it has six peer educators are working with the local schools.
There is high rate of teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol abuse, and HIV/AIDS in the area. Some of the areas are rural and the households are too scattered, making it difficult to navigate between them. Sadly, the Department of Health does even the organisation’s activities or events to talk about other topics in relation to a healthy life style.
Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group reaches most of the areas of Dumbe Local Municipality. The communities participate as the organisation continues to educate them about HIV/AIDS, STI and TB. The organisation has been able to educate learners and assist most teenage boys to do MMC in the clinics and bring more information on HIV Prevention, STI’s and behaviour change. Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group distributes condoms in rural areas where there is no access to them, and also demonstrates on how to use them.
To view the Dumbe HIV/AIDS Action Group in the Prodder NGO Directory, click here.