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HIV/AIDS Supervision & Monitoring: People with HIV implementing their own activities

HIV/AIDS Supervision & Monitoring: People with HIV implementing their own activities

Picture of James  Kityo

People living with HIV have continued to demonstrate their ability in implementing activities that relate to the issues relating to HIV and AIDS in Luwero district of Uganda. In a joint supervision and monitoring program of people living with HIV/AIDS,the second of its kind in the district, the head of Forum of people living with HIV/AIDs in Luwero district, Uganda, Mr. Abdalla Musisi Zziwa noted that,

“This supervision and monitoring activity involved two components, namely the field work and the review meeting. In the field the team visited Kamira Health centre III and met Kamira groups of persons living with HIV. The team also visited Kikyusa Holy cross Health centre III and met the groups of persons living with HIV.”

Most of the activities implemented by people living with HIV are funded by the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and the key component of the program is the Elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV (eMTCT). One such major interventions on PMTCT [Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission] is carried out by the Community Health HIV/AIDS Alliance in Uganda, who received funding from ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action for Children’s fund to implement a three year PMTCT community referral strengthening project that started in January, 2012. The project which is named “Expanding the role of PLHIV and communities in increasing access to PMTCT services” is implemented in partnership with community based Networks/groups of people living with HIV/AIDS, district based health facilities and in partnership with various NGOs and FBOs. The project works in collaboration with four district local governments including Luwero, Iganga, Mukono and Nakaseke.

Mr Kalyesubula Edward the Luwero District HIV/AIDS focal person noted that,

“The unique thing about this project is that it is managed by persons living with HIV and they know what affects them. It is therefore important that when they themselves review the progress of the project, they are able to assess what progress they have made and what areas of the project need to be improved upon.”

According to Sseruyange Stephen the chairperson of Bukuma liaison group of people living with HIV,

“In this monitoring and evaluation exercise, we seek to establish the progress of project activities and determine the performance levels of Kamiraa and Kikyusa  PHA groups as regards accessibility to PMTCT/option B+ services and  also assess the quality of those services in the health centres in those areas.”

The official from the District health office, Mr.Sserunkuma Daniel, noted that there was siginificant progress in addressing HIV in the communities. He noted that,

“There is an increased number of mothers accessing PMTCT services at health centres and there is an increased accessibility to Reproductive Health services in Kamira and Kikyusa health centres. In addition, the option B+ is being offered in all the health centres visited whereas on the side of persons living with HIV, they are doing some income generating activities like crafts sales so as to be able to finance their activities.”

Challenges noted

The challenges noted were that, HIV testing kits were not enough at Kamira Health centre III, yet they were adequately available at Kikyusa Holy Cross centre III. The lack ofsuch testing kits had resulted in delaying to know peoples’ CD4 count results. It was also noted that there was limited male involvement and support to their wives accessing ANC, NNC, PNC and Family planning services.

According to Ssentamu Julius, a project officer with HIV/AIDS,

“It is unfortunate that in all health centres and PHA groups visited, condoms were found to be inadequate. This does not help much in efforts to reduce HIV transmission and in future there is no reason why populations should not have free access to condoms.”

Recommendations

The team recommended that the various stakeholders of the project should play their roles in a timely manner so as to enable the players and service providers to fulfil their assignments in time. For instance the National Medical Stores (NMS) was required to supply medical equipment and drugs in time to avoid stock outs.

There was also need to facilitate drama groups to enable them carry out awareness creation on HIV/Aids, in addition to recruiting and training more personnel to cover all communities. There was also need for more financial support to enable Network support agents, who are persons living with HIV to to their work in communities.

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