Improving Access to HIV and Aids Services for Key Populations in Jinja District – Uganda
This paper details the application of knowledge and skills gained from
Total Quality Management, Management Information Systems and Research
Methodologies trainings from TAU in increasing access to HIV and AIDS services
to key populations in Jinja district. Uganda has continued to suffer from the
adverse effects of HIV and AIDS for almost three decades now, with the HIV
prevalence rising from 6.4% in 2005 to 7.3 in 2011%, (UAIS 2011 Report). This
was attributed to the increase in the rate of occurrence of new HIV infections,
even when access to Ante Retroviral Therapy (ART) for the general population
was increasing. The Uganda Ministry of Health noted that the major sources of
new infections are the Key Populations.
Populations’ are those categories of people who are most likely to be exposed
to HIV infection and or most likely to transmit HIV to their sexual partners.
According to studies, Key
Populations in Uganda have higher HIV prevalence rates above the National HIV
prevalence rate of 7.3%, sometimes often more than twice the national average.
Key Populations in Uganda include; Fisher folk, Sex workers and their partners,
Uniformed personnel, Long distance drivers and Men who have Sex with Men (MSM).
A PLACE (Priorities for Local
AIDS Control Efforts) study conducted by Makerere University and
Jinja District Local Government revealed that there were limited interventions in
the district to address the challenges of access to HIV and AIDS services for
the Key Populations yet they existed in the district. The Jinja district health
team came up with interventions to address such challenges faced by Key
Populations starting September 2015. The goal
of the interventions is to reduce new HIV infections in Jinja district by
providing universal access to HIV prevention, care and treatment services to
Key Populations in the Jinja district. The specific objectives are; To provide
factual information on issues related to HIV and AIDS among Key Populations to
the general population including the health workers. To mitigate specific
drivers increased HIV infection/transmission among Key Populations. To scale up
delivery of comprehensive HIV prevention and treatment services to Key
Populations. To build a strong enabling environment for equitable and
sustainable delivery of HIV prevention and treatment services to Key
Populations, and lastly is to strengthen the strategic information system for
program and policy improvement for Key Populations.
Achievements: The project identified a few key populations for consultations on how
best they would access and or be provided healthcare services. Venues where Key
populations could easy be found were identified and sensitization of 60
managers in these venues about the intended interventions for the key
populations was done. 90 leaders of the different categories of the key
population were also identified for orientation and easy mobilization of their
peers for services that we offer. The project also prepared 120 health workers
to provide services to the key populations. Special clinics for key populations
were created for easy access to the different services and to reduce stigma and
discrimination. Logistical support is very vital and there was budgeting and
procurement of condom dispensers, information and communication posters, and
drugs. HIV Counselling and Testing outreaches conducted and 510 key populations
have been tested for HIV. Data collection tools were modified to suit the
project information demands. The challenges expected when serving key
populations in Uganda are mainly security agencies interference, ethical
dilemmas, lack of legal framework to provide such services to key population
and limited finances to meet the created demands.
prevention, care and treatment interventions have been limited in the Uganda
health care system and introduction of such services have been observed to be
key in reducing HIV transmission among the population
. Crane Survey report (2008/2009).
. Ministry of Health (2014). HIV and AIDS National Registers
. Ministry of Health Uganda (2011). Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey Report.
. Makerere University School of Public Health (2013). PLACE Report.
. Uganda AIDS Commission (2015). HIV Prevention Strategy.
. Ugandan Ministry of Health (2014). Uganda AIDS Commission Annual