Uganda was the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to acknowledge the presence of HIV epidemic. Since then over 2.5 million people in the country have died due to AIDS and more than 120,000 people were infected with HIV in 2010. Currently there are 1.2 million people living with HIV infection in the country. Nearly every one has lost a close relative or friend due to this epidemic.
UAOWF’s response to this has been to contribute to prevention of new HIV infections through, Awareness raising, promotion of biomedical interventions such as condom use, behavior change methods such as abstinence and faithfulness in the case of married couples, addressing the social cultural, gender, structural factors that are seen as the current drivers of the epidemic through community dialogues and sensitization.
UAOWF in partnership with health facilities in the district carries out community HIV counseling and Testing outreaches, condom distribution, community mobilization and referral of clients to health centers for HIV services.
To address the social economic driver of the HIV epidemic UAOWF has been promoting vocational training for out of school girls. A tailoring center was established in 2012 where girls receive training in tailoring and embroidery.
While Uganda has made significant advance in promoting and improving maternal health over the past 15 years, approximately 6500 women die annually from complications during pregnancy or child birth. Most of these maternal deaths occur right before, during or just after delivery and most would have been prevented if these women receive timely and adequate maternal care. Unfortunately less than half of Uganda women attend the recommended minimum of four antenatal care visits and only 57% of births take place in a health facility which is critical to ensuring they receive life saving care in the care of complications.
UAOWF in partnership with PACE is actively involved in promoting maternal health in Eastern Uganda through our community based approaches that first of all empower communities with knowledge about reproductive health and skills to raise local resources to finance their maternal health needs such as transportation to the health center antenatal, delivery and post delivery care. In his regard we have trained 20 community workers who are key resource persons in the community. These conduct community outreaches and education on safe motherhood and help women plan for and access facility based care. They also refer women to the nearest health facility for antenatal, delivery and postnatal services.
To help reduce the transportation bottlenecks experience by pregnant mother, UAOWF is working with local motorcycle taxi operators (boda bodas) to provide timely, affordable and reliable transportation to the health center for maternal related services.