Uganda - Our Backgound

Continuing challenges include sustaining the involvement of political leaders at all levels of public administration, strengthening management capacities( particularly at the local level)in order to maintain an effective response to HIV/AIDS and minimizing the social and economic impact of the epidemic on households, communities and services. Realizing the close link between HIV/AIDS and governance, the Uganda AIDS Commission put in place a Leadership Mobilization Strategy to ensure full involvement of leaders at all levels in HIV/AIDS prevention and care activities.

AMICAALL Uganda includes 110 municipalities and 34 municipal divisions. Key programme priorities include enhancing HIV mainstreaming in local authorities and strengthening the sustained multi-sectoral response. This is achieved through developing local leadership, advocacy and networking; with specific focus on university students and high risk groups.

Specific interventions of AMICAALL to meet these priorities included development of an HIV Mainstreaming toolkit for local government and training 330 urban leaders on the processes. Eight municipalities were supported in development of workplace programmes and three urban councils prepared orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) by-laws to protect the rights of children.

Skills based training was conducted for urban leaders to enhance planning, coordination and management of local responses. This was supported by capacity needs assessments in three urban authorities, mapping of HIV/AIDS services in ten councils and AIDS taskforces established in fifteen councils. A behavioral change communications strategy was prepared and regular consultations with partners and stakeholders held.

The programme of risk reduction among university students included a situational analysis followed by training 86 peer educators who reached out to 8,200 students with HIV messages, and mobile VCT services reached 2,300. Inter-university games based on HIV messages were held and 10 condom distribution points set up. The focus on high risk groups included a vulnerability study proceeded by training of 56 peer educators drawn from the identified groups, who reached 5,300 sex workers, taxi drivers, market vendors and other most at risk groups. Sexuality and life skills training was provided to 280 young girls and around 400,000 condoms distributed.

Local leadership has in fact driven the urban community response in Uganda and influenced positive behaviour change.

Uganda National Chapter of The Alliance launched in November 2000

In 2001, a Plan of Action was developed for the AMICAALL Uganda Programme, and activities initiated with support from UNDP. A workshop to develop community-response proposals was conducted in early 2003 with 10 municipalities/divisions. A constitution was developed for the AMICAALL Programme, which was approved by mayors convened at a General Assembly. More recently, AMICAALL Uganda developed a five-year Strategic Plan of Action (2006-2010) to guide planning and programming of HIV activities in urban authorities throughout the country.

AMICAALL Uganda initiated HIV/AIDS Urban Workplace Programmes, and the development of policy guidelines, with support from UNAIDS and UNDP, and the collaboration of local partners. Through the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), AMICAALL Uganda also received funding to support a Strengthening Urban Community Interventions for Orphans and Vulnerable Children project, which focuses on the technical quality of a continuum of services provided to these children and the community response for their care and support, as well as standards to improve their quality of life. This project is being implemented in four sites of Kampala, targeting support for approximately 1000 orphaned children.

Years of prolonged insurgency have fuelled the spread of HIV particulary in the northern regions. Prevalence rates are as high as 10%-16% in this area. AMICAALL Uganda has initiated several activities in Kitgum, including: the organisation of sensitisation seminars on Voluntary Counseling and Testing and the Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission and distribution of food supplements to people living with HIV, and those taking anti-retroviral drugs.