DHAT’s Regional Value
The Disability, HIV and AIDS Trust (DHAT) is a not-for-profit regional organization promoting disability, SRHR, TB, Cervical Cancer, HIV and AIDS responses that address needs and empowerment of persons with disabilities, through building and strengthening capacity of DPOs in Southern Africa and SADC countries. The DHAT has country offices in Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe and work with partners in other SADC countries its headquarters are in Harare, Zimbabwe.

Organizational Goal
Advocate and facilitate for comprehensive rights-based HIV, AIDS and related interventions, as well as increasing activity, participation and empowerment, for persons with disabilities
. Rationale for DHAT’s Interventions regarding disability, SRHR, TB, Cervical Cancer, HIV and AIDS response for persons with disabilities. From the information above, the situation of persons with disabilities in the Southern Africa/SADC region may be summarized into 3 key issues:

1. Limited access to social, economic and other opportunities: Due to their respective physical, sensory, social, intellectual and emotional functional limitations, persons with disabilities are have limited participation in activities and. Society has beliefs and myths that stigmatize disability and provides a recipe for discrimination. In addition, the physical environments in which PWDs live do not have adequate provisions that address specific needs of PWDs. As a result most PWDs are excluded from accessing opportunities in education, health, employment and economic ventures. Therefore, they are less empowered in comparison to non-disabled people.

2. Vulnerability: The limitations noted above subject persons with disabilities to deprivation in many aspects. As a result of limited access to opportunities, most disabled people in the region are among the most socio-economically poor and therefore highly vulnerable to HIV and AIDS.

3. Lack/inadequate access to disability, SRHR, TB, Cervical Cancer, HIV and AIDS prevention, treatment, care, support and mitigation services: Programmes and services are designed, planned and implemented in the context of the non-disabled. Disability sensitive and friendly services are inadequate or non-existent. In other words, most prevention, treatment, care, support and mitigations services are not accessible to persons with disabilities. For example, facilities lack provisions such as elevators, ramps and wide doors to facilitate access for persons with physical disabilities; Braille translation for the visually impaired persons; service providers who are able to communicate in sign language to serve the deaf. Policies that promote disability friendly provisions do not exist or are inadequate. Where such policies exist in the absence of supportive legislation to enforce policy implementation, policies are unhelpful.

National / Country Activities

  • To facilitate and advocate for comprehensive rights-based disability, SRHR, TB, Cervical Cancer, HIV and AIDS and related interventions for persons with disabilities: DHAT seeks to support, facilitate and promote increased access to prevention, treatment, care, support and mitigation services for PWDs. This is an immediate and urgent part of DHAT’s work, which is a service delivery component that is mainly at community and country levels. Strategies and activities include working with DPOs, CBRCs, ASOs, national health services as well as NACs in developing IEC materials to cater for the respective needs of PWDs; training service providers (both pre-service and in-service) in areas of disability, for example, sign language training.. Capacity development of DPOs and their respective federations, CBRCs and ASOs are among the strategies and activities for this goal.

· To facilitate and advocate for comprehensive rights-based interventions that increase activity, participation and empowerment of persons with disabilities: DHAT seeks to support, promote, and facilitate interventions and approaches that address vulnerabilities, empowerment needs and increasing activity and participation of persons with disabilities. This is largely a strategic component that necessitates review, formulation, advocacy, networking, information sharing and dissemination on disability related policy and legislation in respective countries and in the region. At regional level, DHAT seeks to influence and work with relevant regional leaders and stakeholders to have in place and implement systems that increase activity, participation and empowerment of PWDs

Regional Activities
DHAT’s regional activities are informed by national priorities through its country programmes and in partnership (Botswana, Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe) with Disabled Persons Organisations (DPOs), Disability Networks, AIDS Service Organisations (ASOs), and communities.. These linkages (country, DPOs, disability networks, community, ASO and regional experiences) promote south–south learning and facilities evidence based advocacy for influencing legislation, policies and research developed at different levels. DHAT demonstrates its regional value

1. Information and Lesson sharing to create a disability voice.

2. Facilitating regional voice and influencing policies and legislations.

3. Making resources work for disabled persons organizations and communities’ response to disability, SRHR, TB, Cervical Cancer, HIV and AIDS.

4. Supporting evidence- based decision making through research.

5. Providing supportive platforms on inclusive, gender, girl child, youth service delivery, stigma, home based care, rehabilitation, intersection between HIV and Disability issues

6. Participating in and strengthening regional and international initiatives.

Further, DHAT promotes the rights and capacity building of persons with disabilities infected and affected by HIV and AIDS and their organisations ; aimed at achieving inclusion and full participation of disabled people in economic, social and political development and disability, SRHR, TB, Cervical Cancer, HIV and AIDS interventions. DHAT’s implementation strategy emphasizes on capacity development of its stakeholders. The mandate includes solidarity building, information facilitation, training, research, advocacy and network.




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