Monday 11 January 2016

Policy Brief on Inclusion of HIV Messages for Older Persons in the National HIV Behavioural Change Communication Programmes-2015


Uganda was one of the countries that were affected with AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, but has successfully gained international reputation for combating HIV&AIDS. The prevalence of HIV in Uganda fell from 18% in the late 1980s to as low as 6.4% in 2005 (MOH, 2006). In 2011, the prevalence rose  to 7.3% (MOH, 2012) which meant that Uganda is one of the few countries in the World where the prevalence  is rising despite the various interventions being implemented. The UNAIDS put the number of new infections at 150,000 in 2011, up from 120,000 in 2004 (PEPFAR, 2014) and these excludes older persons. According to Uganda AIDS Commission, approximately 80% of HIV infections arise from heterosexual transmission, 20% from mother-to-child infection and less than 1% from blood-borne infection. Nationally, only 36% of women and 43% of men aged 15-49 have a comprehensive knowledge of HIV&AIDS(MOH, 2012).

 Key Concerns

HIV messaging among Older Persons: Older persons and the general population don’t have similar levels of knowledge about HIV&AIDS due to variations in messaging. It is clear that there is lack of HIV messages targeting older persons. This means that other factors are also likely to be responsible for the difference in knowledge and prevalence of HIV in the general population and that of older persons. Sexual behaviour, living conditions and the lifestyle of older people especially those who have money are some of the factors that make older people particularly vulnerable. While as, some older persons can read and write, many of them are very illiterate as they can neither read nor write. 

Posted by Esther Namirimu/Communication Officer of UNASO.

Position Paper on HIV Messaging for Older Persons in Uganda for the HIV Prevention, Care and Treatment Advocacy Group for Older Persons in Uganda-2015

Introduction and Background

This paper presents the position of the HIV Care, Prevention and Treatment Advocacy group for older persons. The HIV Prevention, Care and Treatment Advocacy Group comprises of THETA Uganda, National Coalition of Women Living with HIV&AIDS, The AIDS Support Organisation, Ministry of Gender Labour and Social Development-Department of Elderly and Disability, Ministry of Health-AIDs Control Programme, Action for Disability and Development, AIDS Information Center and Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organisations. The group was formed in 2008 to spearhead advocacy campaign directed towards mitigating the impact of HIV&AIDS among older persons in Uganda.

Since inception, the group has registered significant impact including specific reference to older persons in the National HIV&AIDS Strategic Plan 2014/15 – 2019/20. The National HIV Prevention Strategy 2011-2015 called for simultaneous tackling of older persons’ behaviours and empowerment to make choices,a
 build negotiation skills, and issues of coercion and violence. The group notes that the government and non-state actors running HIV&AIDS programmes are now aware of the huge gaps on HIV programming and older persons. Older persons have been included onto MOH Peer Education Training Programmes.

 Facts about HIV&AIDS in Uganda

Uganda continues to experience an increasing number of new HIV infections every year, estimated at 124,000 in 2009 and 128,000 in 2010. The number of new infections outstrips annual enrolment into Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) by two-fold. If the status quo continues, the HIV burden is projected to increase by 700,000 new infections over the next five years. There are multiple reasons why, despite 25 years of implementing various HIV prevention interventions, new HIV infections remain high (National Prevention Strategy, 2011-2015). Most HIV interventions are still on an insufficient scale to make significant public health impact. Many are not aligned with sources of new infections. As a result of complacency, there is now a return to widespread risky sexual behaviour and low comprehensive knowledge of HIV prevention in the population as was at the very beginning of the epidemic. While scaling up HIV&AIDS care and treatment in recent years has been fairly successful saving lives and providing relief to people living with HIV as well as preventing some new infections, long-term sustainability of the HIV&AIDS message programs requires intensified and increased effectiveness of HIV prevention for older persons....For more information please follow this link......Position Paper on HIV Messaging for Older Persons in Uganda

Posted by Esther Namirimu/Communication Officer.

Sunday 10 January 2016

Position paper on the status of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for Adolescents and Young People (10-24years) in Uganda.

Uganda’s population is largely constituted by young people with adolescents making up 70 percent.  (1  This population sub category2 faces many reproductive health challenges including; early/unwanted pregnancies,unsafe abortions, STI/HIV/AIDS, Female Genital Mutilation, among others. HIV prevalence among young people aged 15-24 currently stands at 7 percent with  forty five percent of all new HIV infections occurring among the same population category . Adolescents and young people continue to carry a high burden of pregnancies with teenage pregnancy accounting for twenty five percent of the over one  million pregnancies recorded in Uganda annually.These challenges expose adolescents and young people to health risks hindering the achievement of  national global health commitments…..Please follow this link for more information UNASO -Position paper-ASRHR

Tuesday 5 January 2016

Report on evidence on the issues affecting running of Global Fund grants with TB component.

This study was commissioned to gather evidence on CSOs’ feedback and recommendations on the issues affecting the running of the Global Fund (GF) grants with TB component in Uganda, was made possible with support from Stop TB Partnership is implementing a project “Strengthening CSO and KAP Engagement in National Global Fund processes, through the Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organization (UNASO).

UNASO’s primary objective for undertaking this study was to gather evidence on CSOs’ feedback and recommendations on the issues affecting the running of the GF grants with the TB component; and specifically to 1) establish the level of involvement of the CSOs in planning, grants negotiation and implementation of planned GF grant TB activities, 2) to establish the views of CSOs, health facilities and other partners on the obstacles related to GF TB grants implementation, and 3) to determine recommendations by CSOs, service providers and other development partners to strengthen the implementation of GF grants with the TB component in Uganda. 

The study was broad-ranging, covering questions of the Global Fund (GF) TB grants program’s overall programmatic effectiveness and achievements in regard to CSO’s engagement at district and community level, whether CSOs are engaged in GF TB grants planning and implementation, their stages of engagement and challenges experienced during the planning and implementation process, CSOs’ awareness of the GF TB grants disbursements, sources funds for CSOs and other partners’ TB activities. 

The study also looked at CSOs’ GF TB grants negotiation and the obstacles related to GF TB grants implementation and CSOs and other development partners’ recommendations to strengthening the implementation of GF grants with the TB component in Uganda. 

A team of two local consultants (public health specialists) and six research assistants conducted the study between May 20th to June 25th 2015. The study was conducted in four districts (Busia, Buikwe, Kiboga and Kampala), which were specifically selected because of the high TB burden/ prevalence rates, according to the National TB & leprosy report 2012. 

The study population included representatives of the CSO partners implementing TB programs, health facilities offering TB services, district leaders , line ministries , AID Development Partners (ADPs), network of communities affected with TB and the overseers of the Global fund grants in Uganda. The review team used both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection to obtain information on which this report is based. 

As a key limitation, the time allocated to this study was relatively short; therefore, the study team could not cover every aspect of the program, including visiting all districts that have benefited from the GF TB grants.

Follow this link to get the report.

Uploaded by Esther Namirimu / Communication Specialist / UNASO