Monday 27 April 2015

Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights of Young people in Uganda.

Background to SRHR programming at UNASO.
UNASO has been enhancing access to SRH information and services to underserved Young People in Uganda. Young people (10-24 years) constitute over 30% of Uganda’s population, with significant impact on population momentum, structure and growth rate. Yet they carry the highest burden and unequalled challenges of SRH, partly caused by high risk behaviour, limited access to information and services.

Traditional health programmes ignore youth because they are thought to be healthy. Uganda has the youngest population in the world, with over 78% below the age of 30 years and 52% is 15 years and below (UBOS 2012). Currently about 6.5 million Ugandans are between 18-30 years and the number of young people is projected to grow to 7.7 million by 2015.

Unfortunately this young population is faced with multiple sexual and reproductive health challenges including: early and unwanted pregnancies; unsafe abortion; STDs; HIV and AIDS and substance and sexual abuse. More so, these young people are faced with a challenge of limited access to integrated SRH services, and the effects of accelerated urbanization and poverty, meaning that many young Ugandans are potentially at higher risk of HIV and AIDS.

UNASO’s commitment to improving the impact of its work and to achieving greater efficiency and effectiveness in attaining that impact is anchored in her strategic plan. Our national accountability score card (2014) which revealed poor adol. Services has re-engineered our focus on SRHR.

UNASO SRHR Programming & Capacity
Against the above background, UNASO in her revised strategic plan (2012/13-2016/17) has embraced SRHR programming.This is premised in strategic objective 3: HIV & AIDS policies, legislation and programmes influenced by 2017.
The Intermediate Result 3.3 Capacity of ASOs to advocate for promotion and protection of sexual reproductive health rights (SRHR) strengthened. In 2013, UNASO with support from STOP AIDS NOW! had two of its staff trained as ToTs in Quality of Sexual and Reproductive Health Education and HIV Prevention Programmes for Young People. UNASO trained staff to coordinate and facilitate the SRHR among AIDS service organizations. UNASO through her trainers led SRHR trainings for CSOs in Kenya, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Malawi, Zambia and Tanzania. In partnership with Nurture Africa, UNASO is currently supporting over 10,000 adolescent youth to access friendly services (Supported by HIVOs).

Key SRHR interventions
At least 17 organizations have been trained and have action plans to integrate and / or improve SRHR programming with support from STOP AIDS NOW! Participating organizations were equipped with skills and utilize skills in planning processes and implementation of SRHR projects in their organizations.Organizations are supported to revise their strategic plans to integrate and effectively measure SRHR performance every after six months. UNASO advocates for adoption of SRHR approach in all HIV & AIDS programmes at national and local level through national and district level platforms.

Some Beneficiary Organizations;
  • National Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDs (NACWOLA),
  • Ugandan American Partnership Organization (UAPO),
  • Wakiso District Network of AIDS Service Organization (WADNASO),
  • Kitwe Charitable Initiative (KCI), World Education Bantwana,
  • Asiika Obulamu PHA Group,
  • Kayunga Orphans Education Care and Support Program,
  • Kiyita Family Alliance for Development (KIaFAD),
  • AIDS Care Education and Training (ACET),
  • Community Awareness and Response on AIDS (CARA)
  • Child Care and Youth Empowerment Foundation (CCAYEF)
  • Community Health and Information Network (CHAIN)
  •  HuysLink Community Initiative (HUYSLINU)
  • Integrated Family Care Support Ugand (IFACASU).
Lessons & Experiences
  • Use of local evidence to inform SRHR is vital to create lasting impact and change.
  • The demand for integration of SRHR among AIDS service organizations is enormous but capacity is still limited.
  • Advocacy to influence policies &and legislations that facilitate SRHR at all levels is still paramount.
Opportunities at UNASO for SRHR programming
  • UNASO organized a meeting for all trainers from the African region to chat a way forward on how to carry on this activity beyond 2015 (a plan exists).
  • Large membership at UNASO in need for SRHR.
  • Available human resources (ToTs) to facilitate knowledge transfer to others.
  • SRHR is a key and priority focus for the national SP.
  • UNASO is self coordinating Entity for young people in the country which facilitates coordination and scale up of intervention

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Internship at the Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organisations (UNASO)

OUR VISION “A Ugandan society free of HIV and AIDS and its impact”

UNASO’s values:

  • Greater involvement of CSO actors
  • GIPA and MIPA
  • Accountability
  • Non partisan
  • Non Ethnicity
  • Non discrimination

UNASO STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES: UNASO 5 year Strategic Plan 2012-2017 stipulates the following objectives;
Institutional capacity of UNASO and its membership to contribute (deliver its mandate)  to the national response improved by 2017
  1. Capacity of UNASO to coordinate, network and strengthen partnerships among ASOs and other actors for effective HIV and AIDS response enhanced by 2017
  2. Enabling and supportive environment for quality HIV and AIDS service delivery promoted by 2017
  3. Coordination and management of strategic information for HIV and AIDS response among ASOs improved by 2017
UNASO Internship Overview

Do you want experience working in charity development and relations? Do you want to immerse yourself in advocacy, capacity building, partnerships and networking, coordination Governance & accountability work while making a difference at community, national and global levels?   Do you want to gain practical experience in Policy, resource mobilization, communication and partnership management on this exciting internship with UNASO? Work alongside programmes run by UNASO and her member organizations for Impact on the well-being of people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, TB and Malaria?  Immersing yourself in local cultures and customs to improve the wellbeing of communities while managing lobbying, donations, raising the profile of the charity and hosting fundraising events, online initiatives; communication, influencing decision making processes, research and monitoring…..

Not only will this internship bring your CV to the next level, it will give you memories that will last a lifetime. In our work, an intern is expected to work alongside UNASO staff to promote the charity both in the community through Online, policy fora; national and global; social media, official UNASO website, conferences and strategic meetings.

Perhaps, the biggest highlight is working in local communities and engaging duty bearers, empowering vulnerable populations and promoting healthy living through collective voice to impact decision making processes for sustainable development

UNASO’S internship program is competitive, and practical. We shall always have anywhere from 1 – 10 Interns working at UNASO at any given time. The internships range from community empowerment, communication, fundraising and finance, research and advocacy to policy level working directly with decision makers, and vulnerable populations. If you are looking to join a dynamic team, learn the ins and outs of the non-profit world, and expand your skills set, send us your resume and cover letter.

Interns shall abide by the guidelines established by UNASO. They are expected to be professional in their respective offices; in the hours they work, in their manner of dress, and in their relationships with other members of the staff. UNASO has a child protection policy and all interns are expected to subscribe to it.

Our internships offer the opportunity for graduates and undergraduates to further their career goals. Interns are expected to maintain a high level of ethics and professionalism during their stay at the internship site as this will contribute to the overall perception of the student by the fellow colleagues and supervisors. They should also demonstrate a high desire to learn and engage fully in the organization’s activities under guidance. UNASO internships offer the opportunity to gain excellent work experience, considerably increasing employment potential.
Internship duration: Minimum 15-20 hours per week required for the duration of the internship, at least a minimum of 2 to 3 months.  
What will I be doing while at UNASO? General job activity outlines
1.      Advocacy, policy, capacity building and research: if you are interested in pursuing a career in advocacy, research, partnership management and coordination, this life-changing Internship will give you the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the evidence-based advocacy and policy, on local, national and international levels.
2.      NGO Public Relations  and Communications: UNASO will offer a unique opportunity for Public Relations and Communications Interns to gain hands-on practical experience working with an NGO dedicated to advocate for people’s rights
3.      Gain valuable work experience in the civil society fraternity and community development sector as well as practical work experience with Ugandan communities  and policy making processes
4.      Operational Research and strategic information management Internship; this is a critical part of UNASO’s work. We undertake in our evidence-based advocacy and research agenda together with member organizations. Interns will work closely with our teams on the collection and analysis of data. Participants are also actively involved in the creation of new studies, reviewing existing ones, and creating of other opportunities.
5.      Rural Healthcare & disease prevention Awareness and social support to vulnerable populations; involving community systems strengthening to improve quality of health care service delivery
6.      Interns shall also assist UNASO to gain a further understanding of others cultures
7.      There may be additional assignments based on the candidate's experience and ability
All Interns at UNASO will be under the supervision of advocacy and capacity building manager who shall address any queries or inquiries to them. They will be attached to supervisors. Interns are expected to consult with their immediate supervisors regarding any unanticipated or unplanned absence from the scheduled days during the placement.
Internship fees
Interns are expected to pay internship fee to UNASO of US$200 (international interns) and 40US$ for local interns, which will cater for welfare of the host organization. Interns are responsible for their own accommodation, transportation to and from the organization although guidance will be given for the first week to avoid being stuck or lost.
 How To Apply:
Email your resume, cover letter and an introductory letter from your institution to:  For details, refer to our website: 


Wednesday 15 April 2015

CSF Experiential Sharing Workshop for CSOs in Eastern Uganda

UNASO Consortium (UNASO, UGANET, NAFOPHANU) in conjunction with Civil Society Fund (CSF) Management Agent organized an experience sharing workshop for 32 sub-grantees and stakeholders in the HIV & AIDS response. The purpose of the meeting was to give an opportunity to participants to share experiences, achievements, lessons learnt, strategies for improving HIV and AIDS programing. The workshop took place at the Source of the Nile hotel in Jinja from 25th-27th March 2015. The meeting attracted three types of participants (M&E, Program and Finance) from each of the 32 sub-grantees and other stakeholders including staff from CSF management Agent, Jinja Local Government officials; LCV Chairman Mr. Fred Ngobi Gume, Residential District Commissioner, Mr. Gulume Balyaino, CSF Board chairman Ms. Jane Magombe, Representative from Chief Administrator's Office, Mr. Gilbert Bamwine and the media. All together the meeting was attended by 141 people.
CSF Board chairperson Ms. Jane Magombe addressing participants in the CSF Experiential Sharing Workshop
CSF Board chairperson Ms. Jane Magombe addressing participants in the CSF Experiential Sharing Workshop

CSF Board chairperson Ms. Jane Magombe addressing participants in the CSF Experiential Sharing Workshop

Residential District Commissioner of Jinja, Mr. Gulume Balyaino  officially opening the CSF Experiential Sharing Workshop
UNASO Programme Manager, Mr. Robert Mwesigwa giving opening remarks

Residential District Commissioner of Jinja, Mr. Gulume Balyaino  officially openinng the CSF Experiential Sharing Workshop
Residential District Commissioner of Jinja, Mr. Gulume Balyaino  officially openinng the CSF Experiential Sharing Workshop
Representative from Chief Administrator's Office, Mr. Gilbert Bamwine
Dr. Prosy Namuwonge of CSF making a presentation

Dr. Prosy Namuwonge of CSF explaining to participants on what to do in the break away session

UNASO Finance Manager making a presentation about grants management
Mr. Sullivan Kabwoha

Ms. Diana Nanjeho, Senior Advocacy Officer of UGANET presenting on behalf of the Consortium
Dr. Prosy Namuwonge of CSF making a presentation

Magdalene from CARA in Mayuge district
L-R: Mr. Sullivan Kabwohe of CSF, Mr.Fred Gume Ngobi LCV Chairman Jinja and Ms. Jane Magombe Board chair CSF
Mr. Fred Gume Ngobi, LCV Chairperson of Jinja district giving closing remarks.

CSO Coalition meeting with PEPFAR Country Team in Uganda

Yesterday, 15th April 2015, members of the  CSO Coalition met with the PEPFAR country team to discuss Country Operational Plan (COP).  The meeting was held at Metropole Hotel and the two members from the PEPFAR technical team; Dr. Hilda Asiimwe of CDC and Dr. Fred Magala of MUWRAPP explained the technical part of the draft of the Country Operational Plan to CSO representatives. Sarah Allinder, Country Representative of PEPFAR shared the draft of the COP with CSO representatives. She explained to members about a new two year project called the Dream Initiative that will be targeting HIV negative youths. The meeting was chaired by the Executive Director of the Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organisations (UNASO), Mr. Joshua Wamboga.

L-R: Dr. Hilda Asiimwe of CDC, Sarah Allinder, Country Representative of PEPFAR and Dr. Fred Magala of MUWRAPP explaining the draft COP to CSO representatives.

Mr. Kenneth Mwehonge of HEPS-Uganda and Ms. Lillian Mworeko of ICWEA. Ms. Mworeko said that the demarcation of HIV positives and Negatives in the Dream Intervention is very dangerous and might not work.

Meeting of CSO Coalition with the PEPFAR Country team to discuss COP

Sarah Allinder, Country Representative of PEPFAR in Uganda explaining to members of CSOs about the new plans of the Country Operational Plan during a meeting of CSO Coalition with the PEPFAR Country team.

Sarah Allinder, Country Representative of PEPFAR in Uganda explaining to members of CSOs about the new plans of the Country Operational Plan during a meeting of CSO Coalition with the PEPFAR Country team.

Members of CSOs in a meeting with the PEPFAR Country team about the Country Operational Plan

Photos/Esther Namirimu

Thursday 9 April 2015

Civil Society Coalition petition Hon. Rebecca Kadaga to stop the exportation of health workers to Trinidad and Tobago

Ugandan civil society groups fighting maternal mortality, yesterday implored Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga to halt the exportation of health workers to Trinidad and Tobago. They also demanded that health worker retention and motivation must be prioritized in FY2015/16 budget
(KAMPALA) Civil society groups yesterday petitioned Speaker of Parliament Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga, imploring that she intervenes urgently to stop the imminent exportation from Uganda of 283 medical specialists to the tiny, oil-rich nation of Trinidad and Tobago.

These health workers represent 11% of Uganda’s national capacity in obstetrics and gynecology, 16% in internal medicine, 15% in paediatrics, 25% in neurosurgery, 27% in pathology, 37% in psychiatry, 53% in orthopaedics, 67% in urology and 71% in radiology.

CSOs petitioning the Speaker of Parliament, RT.HON. Rebecca Kadaga to stop the exportation of medical workers to Trinidad and Tobago

  “To export 100 midwives has the effect of withdrawing maternal health services from 900,000 mothers in Uganda. The export of doctors deprives care to 1.2 million Ugandan patients,” said Sam Senfuka of White Ribbon Alliance Uganda.

25 journalists were present to cover CSOs petition the Speaker of Parliament to stop exportation of health workers
 Senfuka added that the Speaker of Parliament is a well-known advocate for access to maternal health services for all Ugandan women. We are asking her to intervene and stop this disastrous plan, and to ensure Parliament passes a FY2015/16 budget that prioritizes health wage enhancements and other motivations for midwives and other front line health workers.

Claire Mugisha of AGHA Uganda noted that this plan, if implemented, will mean more suffering and preventable death in our communities, particularly among pregnant women, newborns, people with HIV, tuberculosis and malaria, and other leading causes of preventable death in Uganda.

 “We are asking the Speaker of Parliament to stand with us and call for this plan to be stopped,” she added. 

“Adding insult to injury, Government is projecting a Ushs 317 billion cut to the health sector for FY 2015/16,” said Asia Russell, of Health GAP. “This is a sector that requires more funding,not less—Government should be increasing health worker remuneration, improving working conditions and increasing the wage bill so that clinics are filled with motivated health workers. Duty bearers are defying national evidence and policy by proposing an export of health workers, when they should be fixing those problems that push health workers to leave.”
Uganda has a doctor to patient ratio of 1: 24,725 against a WHO recommended ratio of 1: 1,000; a nurse to patient ratio of 1: 11,000 against a recommendation of 1: 500.

Even this national average does not account for acute regional disparities in the distribution of health workers. 80% are concentrated in Kampala, which caters for only 20% of the population.

In most districts, the doctor to patient ratio is over 1: 150,000. Overall, 42% of positions are vacant. By comparison, Trinidad and Tobago has 10 times as many doctors, 3 times as many nurses, 22 times the per capita health spending, 32 times the per capita GDP and universal health insurance. Only 42% of expectant Ugandan mothers compared to 98% of Trinidadians have access to skilled maternal health services. Ugandan mothers are 4 times more likely to die during child birth; 3 times as many Ugandan children die before the age of 5.

Contact for more information: Claire Mugisha, AGHA Uganda 0756 093 926
Asia Russell, Health GAP 0776 574 729
Sam Senfuka, White Ribbon Alliance Uganda 0704 920 042