Operation Masinyange (OM) is a community based model for HIV/AIDS response in the Eastern Cape Province. The OM is an operation meaning that it is a carefully planned and urgent intervention. Secondly, it denotes the fact that it is made up of interventions that are targeted and not generalised.
‘Masinyange’ means "let us heal”. HIV/AIDS is fuelled by a myriad of social ills from which the community needs to heal. it is designed along the lines of Operation Sukuma Sakhe and is based on the Hotspots model, where in 25 wards have been identified as pilot sites, with 144 wards ultimately targeted. The main supporting structure of the OM model are social laboratories. These are structures that are set up in each ward. The word laboratory in this context denotes two things. Firstly, a laboratory is a place where things are dissected into pieces so that they can be better understood from inside out. This means therefore in social laboratory the members of the community will engage each other from different perspectives such as religion, tradition, science until they have a better understanding of the problem. Secondly, the word denotes the notion of problem solving and solution finding. Therefore in a social lab the members of the community meet in order to find a lasting solution to the problem. This programme has already been adopted by the EXCO.
The OM project aims to gather community based solutions to the social ills that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS in the Eastern Cape, to fast track the implementation of HIV/AIDS programmes by targeting the right people and in the right areas and further to ensure that resources are invested where maximum impact can be achieved.
ECACs role in this project is to provide strategic information, assist with resource mobilisation and monitoring and evaluation of the programme.
ECAC is the only organisation facilitating and coordinating such a community model that responds to HIV and TB, hence this is a crefully documented operation. The model will also facilitate real time data to be collected which will be used in designing programmes responding to HIV and TB. The benefits of this model will be reduction of infections, better impact and coordination of stakeholders providing services to communities.
Project Leader: Dr Pelisa Dana