Country Spotlight: Uganda
Our Work in Uganda
Since 2000, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) has been supporting PMTCT and HIV and AIDS care and treatment services in Uganda. EGPAF-Uganda is a leading provider of technical assistance to Uganda’s Ministry of Health, and supports clinical service delivery at the facility, regional, and national levels. We work closely with the Ministry of Health and other partners to increase access to comprehensive, high-quality HIV prevention, care and treatment, and tuberculosis (TB) identification and treatment services among women, children and families living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. EGPAF-Uganda currently supports services at 234 health facilities in 13 districts of the Southwest Region.
EGPAF works hand-in-hand with Uganda’s Ministry of Health to formulate evidence-based policies supporting all persons affected by HIV. EGPAF actively participates in national HIV-related technical working groups and advisory committees including: the Pediatric HIV Working Group; the TB/HIV Subcommittee; the TB Advocacy, Communication and Social Mobilization Committee; the National Advisory Committee on HIV; and the PMTCT Monitoring and Evaluation Subcommittee. EGPAF plays a central role in the revision and adaptation of the national PMTCT and ART guidelines. This includes advocating for the adoption of globally recommended guidelines, which provide pregnant and breastfeeding women with lifelong HIV treatment.
EGPAF-Uganda has also actively implemented operations research to ensure scale up of best practices in HIV clinical management in-country. Most notably, we have examined the success of several approaches to enhance community involvement in and ownership of PMTCT and maternal, newborn and child health service utilization; the feasibility of integrating HIV and syphilis screening to ensure healthy birth outcomes of women in Uganda; and a method to encourage male engagement in PMTCT.
Key Projects in Uganda
Strengthening the TB and HIV/AIDS Response in the Southwest Region of Uganda (STAR-SW) Project
(2010-2015) This five-year project aims to improve the availability and coverage of quality comprehensive HIV/AIDS and TB services in Southwest Uganda, and increase the number of people accessing these services. EGPAF works in close collaboration with the Ministry of Health to integrate cost-effective, family-focused services for HIV and AIDS care and treatment, PMTCT, and TB into EGPAF-supported health care facilities across the region. The project applies a multidisciplinary approach to train health facility staff and provide infrastructure development support. Through collaboration with facilities and districts, EGPAF works to improve the quality of services provided by using patient HIV and TB service utilization data to inform HIV/AIDS and TB programs. STAR-SW is funded by USAID through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).
Optimizing HIV Treatment Access for Pregnant Women (OHTA) Project
(2013-2015) In August 2013, EGPAF-Uganda partnered with the United Nation Children’s Fund and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency to implement OHTA, which aims to accelerate national adoption of the 2013 World Health Organization guidelines, recommending Option B+. This project supports eight high-HIV-prevalence districts in the implementation of these new guidelines.
Delivering Technical Assistance (DELTA) Project (2014-2016)
(2014-2016) Under the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention-funded Project DELTA, EGPAF has completed two assignments in Uganda, and is currently working on a third. Under the first assignment, the Ministry of Health sought technical support from EGPAF to improve utilization of Option B+ program data to improve the number of patients remaining in treatment. Under the second assignment, PEPFAR-Uganda and the Ministry of Health requested technical assistance from EGPAF through DELTA to improve pediatric HIV testing, linkage to care and treatment services. Low numbers of children receiving HIV testing and counseling has been a challenge in many facilities throughout Uganda. Linkage to care and treatment services is also poor among HIV-positive children. This assignment focuses on improving identification of HIV-positive children through high-quality pediatric HIV testing and counseling services, and the successful linkage of those children to care and treatment. Under its third assignment, EGPAF is providing technical assistance to the Ministry of Health to improve the quality of PMTCT services in the country, focusing on keeping mother-baby pairs in treatment using real time data to enhance program monitoring.
Advancing Community-Level Action for Improving Maternal and Child Health & Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV (ACCLAIM) Project
(2012-2015) Project ACCLAIM implements and assesses the effect of three community-based interventions in Uganda, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. Through ACCLAIM, EGPAF aims to increase community demand for, uptake of, and retention in maternal and child health and PMTCT services. The project utilizes three interventions including community leader engagement, community health days, and peer support groups. In Uganda, ACCLAIM also implements maternal, neonatal, and child health classes for pregnant women, mentorship support for community-based peer facilitators, and mobile male circumcision services at community health days. ACCLAIM is made possible through a four-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, administered through the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Development Canada.