Section 3: Peer-led Outreach with Key Populations


Knowing Key Populations

Increasing Participation

Peer-led Outreach

Project Management

Tracking Progress

Innovative Service Models

Success Story: Mobile VCCT in Markham Valley

In February, Tingim Laip organised the second mobile VCT clinic at local entertainment centre, Zero Tavern in Markham Valley, Morobe Province.  This clinic was a joint collaboration between Mutzing Health Centre, Ramu Agri Industries (RAI) health clinic, the police, Zero Tavern management, Tingim Laip staff and volunteers.  The main objective of the clinic was to reach out and provide easy access of VCT support services to truckies, PMV drivers and boss crews, Buai buyers and peanut traders and WES in Markham.

From 8:30pm the clinic was set up inside Zero Tavern.  Between 9pm and 10pm, the first group of clients attended the clinic representing Buai sellers, peanut traders, PMV drivers and boss-crews, and FSWs.  From 11pm, truck drivers started to access the clinic for services.  The clinic remained open until 3am, when clinic staff announced that they had run out of consent forms.  

Overall 24 mobile men and 3 women engaged in sex work were counselled and tested for HIV.  Of the 27 tests conducted, one positive result was returned, and later confirmed.

From this experience, TL received positive feedback from implementing partners as well as clients.  The team learned that conducting VCT at night in a familiar location increased access to services.  Working together with health clinic staff, police and tavern owners demonstrated to local communities the importance of everybody’s involvement in preventing HIV.

The Police Constable who provided security told Tingim Laip staff that there was need to organise more such clinics and that he would be willing to work with TL in the future. The Health Centre team, reported that this was their first experience conducting a mobile VCT clinic at night, and in a tavern – they were surprised by the number of people who accessed the service on the night.  After reporting to their Officer in Charge, they committed to continue to work closely with TL to conduct mobile VCT clinics in Markham.

A TL volunteer who distributes condoms at roadside buai stand reported that he had received at least three requests from truck drivers about when the next clinic would take place.

This innovative approach to making services more accessible to most at risk populations was a success.  Tingim Laip has helped strengthen the relationship between Mutzing Health Centre and Ramu Agi Industries (RAI) clinic – which has the only CD4 count machine in the District and provides free services to clients referred from government services.

To date, Tingim Laip has facilitated two mobile VCT clinics at Zero Tavern, a local entertainment centre on the Highlands Highway.  At a Markham Valley partnership meeting organised by Tingim Laip, Mutzing Health Centre management agreed that its health workers would participate in future mobile clinics. The staff would be drawn Mutzing Health Centre, Tsuya Health Centre and other Aid Posts. In this way, health professionals with limited practical experience could develop skills in counselling and testing.