Project name: Improving healthcare and health
Partners: Kadama Widows Association (KWA), Charity Women Association (CHAWOA)
Funder: Comic Relief
Project name: Improving healthcare and health
Stigma, discrimination and a lack of information about HIV/AIDS is still a big problem in Uganda. People who want to find out their HIV/AIDS status or to access treatment often find it difficult to disclose their status to their friends and family, or even to be seen attending treatment centres. A lack of information about the disease, and where and how one can seek treatment is also a significant challenge. As a result of this, not enough people are testing or treated for HIV/AIDS, and the associated health problems are very serious indeed.
KwaAfrica, in tandem with its partners, KWA and CHAWOA, started this project to challenge misconceptions around HIV/AIDS by holding a variety of educational events focus to encourage people to learn about HIV/AIDS, access health services, and undergo HIV testing. We work with local government, community leaders, schools, health centres and many others besides to make sure that everyone has the knowledge and information required to make informed choices about their health.
Since its start, the Improving healthcare and health project has delivered these results:
- As a part of the project, a number of outreaches tailored to deal with among others, HIV/AIDS stigma, HIV/AIDS related violence and fear to utilise healthcare services have been organised. Additionally, approximately 60000 condoms have been distributed, their use promoted and training on their proper use provided. Participants revealed that the project have helped them to become more capable of making informed decision about their medical status and care better about their sexual health
- There have been several consultative meetings with state, indigenous and religious leaders arranged. The focus of these meeting has been to enlighten these leaders on their roles and responsibilities in ensuring the decrease of HIV/AIDS levels in Uganda. All attending leaders pledged to adhere to play an essential role in fight against HIV/AIDS
- Training on a variety of entrepreneurship skills has been provided to project participants. A number of them have since been able to save money for their children’s education, invest in livestock or start small businesses
“I no longer have fear. I am happy to have hope of seeing my children grow.”
A couple of years ago Christine has been diagnosed with HIV. This finding had grave consequences for her life. Although she visited a number of hospitals and tried various medication her health over time rapidly deteriorated. On top of that, people from her village turned away from her calling her Natwan, the dead one.
Luckily, a friend of hers adviced her to attend one of the outreaches organized as a part of Improving health care and health project. Listening to testimonies, sharing ideas and collecting valuable information on how to live with HIV has helped her to improve her health and tackle her HIV condition. Additionally, attending outreaches has given her confidence to beat stigma and rejection which she had to deal with too often.
Currently, Christine works as one of the project volunteers encouraging others to attend outreaches, get tested and disclose their HIV status.
“I am now living an independent life.”
Loy is a widow from Kabweri Sub County. Her husband passed away a couple of years ago leaving her in a grim finacial situation. Following this ordeal, both Loy’s physical and mental health quickly worsened to the point where she thought her life had come to an end.
Fortunately, she was visited by a close acquaintance who told her about bussiness training provided through the Improving healthcare and health project. Shortly after, Loy took part on one of the outreaches where she signed into training programmes focused on loan and saving management.
Knowledge and skill acquired through this training have helped her to save enough money to start a small retail shop at Kabweri trading centre. At the moment Loy’s retail shop is doing very well earning enough profit to make Loy’s life happier and more satisfying.
“We found love once again through couple’s outreach.”
A few years ago Alex was diagnosed with HIV. His health condition had a damaging effect on the relationship with his wife Janet who is HIV negative. The fear of contraction the virus emontionally distance them from each other and left Alex mentally tormented. Besides, the family suffered also financially as Alex often could not go to work because of healt condition.
Fortunately, the couple have been by a family friend introduced to a couple’s outreach organised as a part of Improving healthcare and health project. Regular counselling, interactions, knowledge on HIV/AIDS and other health related issues provided during the outreaches have helped the couple to come to terms with Alex’s diagnosis and saved their marriage which was the verge of breaking up.
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