The ACOMUZA Association (Community Association of Women Zavala - Inhambane) is a Community Based Organization located in Zavala district, which primarily aims to defend the rights and interests of women. This association arises from the need to respond to the problems faced by the community, thus joining efforts to find solutions.
In 2005, Acomuza started its activities in the area of HIV, specifically in integrated home care, supporting patients with difficulties in reaching the health facility.
With the support of 33 activists spread across 12 communities, this association carries out awareness-raising talks to communities about Gender Based Violence, HIV, Groups Training Support Community membership (GAAC), Tuberculosis, making community mobilization and connection at HFs.
Taking advantage of the events held in the communities, and with the support of community leaders, representing a very important role in communities, talk sessions and message transmission are more easily accepted by community members.
Moreover, the importance of activists is crucial, taking into account that they belong to communities, with a proximity and ease of connection to the beneficiaries of the lectures. Activists assist female victims of domestic or sexual violence, and help them to file their complaints in health facilities in order to denounce perpetrators. Activists mobilize people to go to the talks and to do the HIV testing in health facilities.
The Acomuza Association covers three districts: Inharrime, Pande and Quissico. Regarding patient retention activities, they are a part of the creation of GAAC groups with a total of 41 groups also working with peer educators, conducting the positive teas and making telephone calls to patients for the purpose of retaining the patients under treatment. They work with parent groups of mothers, which are groups that gather to exchange ideas, cooking recipes for their children bearing HIV and issues related to the topic.
Aurora Paz is an Acomuza Association activist and carries out various activities in the communities, including, lectures, home awareness, that are directed to health. According to the activist community, the community is relatively receptive to the idea that awareness activities will be conducted by activists and all testing or HIV treatment will occur in the HF. To Aurora, this easy acceptance is due to the fact that many have witnessed, in the community, the deaths of many people living with HIV, people who had difficulty accepting their status and therefore did not accept treatment. There are some challenges that the community faces; Aurora identifies a few, such as the long wait time that patients must endure at HFs. There is also the difficulty that sometimes exists in working with community leaders, important authority figures, as a way to collaborate, in the preparation of their work, for example, mobilization efforts, in order to raise awareness for members of the community. However, Aurora feels happy to help members of her community by looking after their health by making HIV testing and treatment accessible.