The DREAM program has adopted an innovative approach
to ensure maximum results with minimal costs. A [tipso tip=”This system is carried out through a network of community-based clinical centers of excellence to which patients refer, coming from second level Day-Hospital located in more remote and rural areas; here health services at an intermediary level are carried out, such as control and distribution of drugs, as well as some type of analysis. To this, mobile clinics and home care are added, which makes treatment accessible to all, even in the most remote areas”]light system[/tipso] based on small health centers spread across the countries, to reach rural areas and move towards the patient who often has economic and transportation difficulties.
This way, the system tries to meet the needs of patients through an [tipso tip=”The African patient is often a person who needs to be educated to health; motivated to maintain adherence to the treatment program; it is a patient that must be reinstated in its family and social environment. In this regard, the role of the community is crucial. The program has enhanced and organized an African attitude, creating a community of care around the patient. The health center is therefore a welcoming place where the patient is listened to and has the opportunity to speak; a space in which, along with the expertise of a health care facility, priority is given to relationships and the social reintegration of the patient”]holistic approach[/tipso] which is essential in the African context and that ensures high rates of retention.
All patients under the program also participate in [tipso tip=”All patients of the program participate in health education courses that teach how to handle many aspects of everyday life, including nutrition, the use of drinking water, personal and home hygiene and childcare. These knowledge assets, in turn, allow the patient himself to be an educator for his own family and environment, enabling a deeper understanding of the causes and mechanisms of diseases and emancipating the patient from fear. In addition, in DREAM patients become main actors, choosing to help other patients and become testimonials playing an irreplaceable role of support, counseling, peer-education and fight against the stigma”]health education[/tipso] courses that teach how to manage many aspects of everyday life.
The valuable work of health education, with the involvement of the patients themselves, creates a new culture: AIDS is no longer a death sentence and can be treated. Patients also become aware that free care is a right.
In fact the basis of DREAM is indeed [tipso tip=”On the African continent, which is marked by the presence of hundreds of millions of people living below the absolute poverty line, gratuitousness seemed compulsory to us. Free health care is the first way to break down the wall of separation between the rich, who have access to health services, and the poor. We should add another consideration to the incapacity of payment of the patients: the therapy is for life and requires a loyalty to it. However, the complexity of treatment procedures has a cost to the patient. In fact, many have to travel long distances to reach the centers and dedicate a few hours to such activities. This has a cost, nobody receives contributions for transportation and adherence to treatment involves the active participation of the patient, also from the economic point of view. In the era of globalization, faced with the challenge of living together, crushed by materialism, the culture of gratuitousness is a revolutionary one that promotes social development, restarting the culture of solidarity, voluntary cooperation, generating new things for our societies”]gratuitousness[/tipso]: everyone can access treatment because care and diagnostic procedures are completely free of charge. Gratuitousness is imposed for reasons of fairness and justice, but it is also the secret of the high degree of adherence, considered today the true discriminator of the success of the therapy.