Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Uganda AIDS Accountability Scorecard Launched

The Uganda AIDS Accountability Scorecard, the first of its kind in the country was launched on Wednesday April 30th by the Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organisations (UNASO) at Hotel Africana, in Kampala.
 
An image of a copy of the Uganda AIDS Accountability Score Card.

The Uganda AIDS Accountability Score card which was produced by the Uganda Network of AIDS Services Organisations (UNASO) with support of United Nations Development Programme(UNDP) rates the degree to which the Government of Uganda is fulfilling its commitment to respond to the AIDS epidemic.
Presenting the findings of the Scorecard, the Executive Director of UNASO, Mr. Bharam Namanya, said that the study shows that anti-retroviral therapy (ART) for both adults and children was performing well as well as tuberculosis (TB) treatment.
He said that the number of Ugandans accessing Anti-Retroviral treatment increased from 329,060 (57 per) to 577,000 (76.5 per cent) between September 2011 and September 2013.
“Findings also reveal that the majority of respondents are happy with the performance of other interventions; Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT), HIV Counseling and Testing (HCT), and Safe Male Circumcision (SMC).”
Mr. Namanya noted that the findings indicate that most health facilities had infrastructure however, they had not had any renovation and required facelift for they were generally characterized by worn out paintings, dust stained louvers, dirt stained and damaged screening meshes, stained and damaged ceilings, damaged doors, cracked walls, non-functional water taps.
The study also highlighted that the general challenges for prevention indicated that stigma is still limiting identified HIV positive clients from accessing treatment and there is shortage of midwives in supported lower level facilities especially among health centres III.

 Mr. Namanya also added that the findings show that there is lack of comprehensive counseling skills at Antenatal Care, women fear to test for HIV and AIDS and there is scarcity of both female and male condoms; female condoms are not available and there is limited public education about them.

 “Inadequate public education about female condom, and where it is available, it carries confusing messages from multiple implementers,” he added.
Another challenge is the biting poverty in the community that has been a hindrance to honoring of referrals. Clients are willing to access service in health facilities but they claim not to have transport.

Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC) Board Chairperson, Professor Vinand Nantulya, described the scorecard as, “an opportunity to improve service delivery and offers a platform for communication between health service users and the service providers. It underscores immediate response and joint decision-making”.
Eight key elements required for an effective national response to AIDS were assessed, namely: Data Collection, Focus on Most-at-Risk Populations, Treatment, Prevention, Coordination, Civil Society, Financing and Human Rights Mainstreaming based on the performance indicators of Uganda’s National HIV and AIDS Strategic Plan 2011/12-2014/15.

Also at the launch, UNASO flagged off a new Accountability Framework for AIDS Service Organisations in Uganda, a tool aimed at helping CSOs to enhance internal accountability, governance and transparency to build capacity to support the HIV and AIDS sector in Uganda.
 An estimated 1.3 million Ugandans aged 15 to 49 are currently living with HIV and prevalence has continued to rise from 6.4 per cent in 2004/2005 to 7.3 per cent in 2011.

UNASO, with a membership of over 2,000 CSOs, provides a platform for advocacy, coordination, networking, capacity building and information sharing among civil society AIDS service organizations (ASOs) to improve on the effectiveness, efficiency and quality of service delivery in Uganda.

Written by Esther Namirimu