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.
Village Savings and Loan Associations
To address the financial barriers faced by many pregnant women in the community UAOWF has helped create and train Village Savings and Loan associations (VSLAs) VSLAS are self managed groups of around 30 people to meet and save money regularly. Through these groups, women can access small loans and obtain emergency funds for care.
Water and Sanitation
UAOWF carries out school and community WASH programs to ensure people wash their hands, have access to clean and safe water, and live in a clean and hygienic environment.
CARE FOR OPHANS AND VULNERABLE CHILDREN
In Uganda 14% of the children which is approximately (2.43 million) children have been orphaned 46.6 (1,108,080) of the orphans are due to HIV and AIDS and 105,000 children between the ages of 0-14 are HIV positive. Approximately 51percent (8.1 million children) are either critically or moderately vulnerable while 63 percent live with caregivers other than their biological parents.
UAOW adopted a community based approach to supporting orphans and vulnerable children where by the organization works with the community to identify needy orphans and vulnerable children. These children are supported within a family setting in terms of education, psychosocial support, hygiene water and sanitation, Health, child protection and legal support.
The organization builds the capacity of caretakers and neighbors and extended families to raise orphans. Some have been trained in poultry, goat and cattle raring after which they were given start up stock of birds and animals. This is aimed at improving the nutritional and health status of such house holds.
This program targets mainly poor and widowed families especially those that keep orphans and vulnerable children. Members from these families are mobilized are encouraged to form groups of not more that 30 people. These groups are then trained in income generating activities including bead making, tailoring, improved poultry and animal rearing. The organization also works with the groups to identify suitable markets for their products.