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Programs

The HIV Prevention, Care and Treatment Program

The HIV Prevention, Care and Treatment Program provides comprehensive HIV/AIDS care and prevention services to clients at the MU-JHU ART clinic, Kawempe National Referral Hospital and the surrounding community. It was launched in the year 2000 as the PMTCT Program and extended in 2017 as the HIV Program. It is currently funded by the CDC/PEPFAR grant through the Infectious Disease Institute (IDI) under the Kampala HIV project.

Operations

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The main goal of the program is to contribute to the national effort of attaining epidemic control by achieving the UNAIDS target of 95:95:95 by 2030; that is, to achieve 95% of people living with HIV knowing their HIV status; 95% of people who know their status to be on treatment; and 95% of people on treatment with suppressed viral loads. Our approach is to get there through the implementation of evidence-based and high-impact interventions.
Our daily activities are made possible by a team of dedicated staff concentrated in four main sections.

  • Clinical: This section is comprised of doctors, nurses, lab technologists and a health visitor. We provide clinical evaluation, treatment and follow-up of patients at the facility and in the community.
  • Counselling: A team of counsellors and peer educators, routinely provide one-on-one and group counselling sessions to support our clients overcome personal challenges and promote adherence to program interventions.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation: This comprises a biostatistician, a data manager, data entrants and data clerks who transcribe data, manage records and monitor and evaluate the progress of the program.
  • Support staff: A driver and runners support the program to smoothly and efficiently conduct the above services.

Services

HIV Care and Prevention

PMTCT: Provision of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) services remains core to our program implementation given that Kawempe National Referral Hospital only provides specialised obstetric, gynaecological and paediatric services and is also among the busiest Maternal and Child Health (MCH) units in Uganda. The program aims at eliminating mother-to-child transmission.

Annually, over 15,000 pregnant women attend Antenatal Care (ANC) for the first time and of these women, more than 99.9% receive same-day HIV results. 7.3%  of these are HIV positive and receive lifesaving Antiretroviral (ARVs) drugs. An additional 21,000 pregnant women are screened for HIV at labour, at delivery and in the post-natal period.

Male partner engagement is critical to the uptake and retention of women in the PMTCT cascade. The program provides male-friendly services that include:

  • Invitation letters to partners of women attending ANC
  • Expediting services for couples attending ANC and Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) clinics
  • Provision of male-friendly clinics beyond the working hours in ANC and at the maternity unit

With these interventions, our program has recorded a significant increase in male partner attendance and reduced Mother-to-Child-Transmission rates. Lost to follow-up, new HIV infections during pregnancy and the breastfeeding period remain key challenges to achieving the elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

HIV testing: The program implements high-yield approaches for HIV case-finding, both at the facility and in the community. These include index testing, social network testing, and targeted testing for high-risk populations. Over 45,000 clients are tested annually and those identified with the HIV infection are linked to our care program

Care and Treatment

Care and Treatment: The program provides comprehensive HIV/AIDS care to about 4,000 clients at our ART clinics located at MU-JHU Research house and Kawempe National Referral Hospital. The complementary services that come with this care include:

  • Routine counselling,
  • Monthly psychosocial meetings to improve on patient adherence, support disclosure and fight stigma,
  • Monthly nutritional demonstrations for mothers of HIV-exposed and HIV-infected infants
  • Community follow-up.

The Care and Treatment services are offered through a Differentiated Services Delivery model, as streamlined by the Uganda Ministry of Health. Through these interventions, the program has been able to reduce patient overload at the clinic, reduce patient waiting time and improve retention in care and viral-load suppression among adults. Achieving viral-load suppression among children and adolescents remains a challenge.

Services for Victims of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)

The program provides staff training, HIV testing, counselling, Post Exposure Prophylaxis and referral for additional supportive care to victims of SGBV.

Health Systems Strengthening

The program supports the use of Electronic Medical Records (EMR) using the UgandaEMR system for integrated Maternal Child Health (MCH) and HIV services at Kawempe NRH. This was first implemented as a pilot project in 2016 and later scaled up in 2020. The program was the first to use the UgandaEMR for MCH services at a high-volume public health facility improving MCH services through the provision of consistent, real-time, accurate, longitudinal data that is easily available to support patient care, monitoring and evaluation and for planning. It’s currently funded by EDCTP through the PREPARE Project and the CDC/PEPFAR grant through the HIV Program.

For more information, contact us at  partnerships@mujhu.org