Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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Increased access to healthcare services in Uganda

1
JUL
2009

Aids Alliance

Alliance Uganda’s successful three-year programme to strengthen the role of networks of people living with HIV in order to increase access to healthcare services ends this month.

“Expanding the Role of Networks of People Living with HIV and AIDS in Uganda” (the Networks Project), which was funded by the US Agency for International Development, reached over 1.3 million people.

The project is one of the Alliance’s most successful examples of how to scale up programming at a national level.

It has demonstrated that strengthening community linkages with health facilities, through the placement of Network Support Agents (NSAs, community volunteers living with HIV) and traditional onward granting to community organisations, not only improves adherence for those on treatment but significantly increases uptake of services by those who test positive.

By the end of 2008 there were 1,300 NSAs working alongside health care workers in 628 health facilities in 40 districts. In June, Alliance Uganda was invited to share the lessons learnt from the Networks project in a poster presentation at the 2009 HIVAIDS Implementers’ Meeting in Windhoek, Namibia.

Milly Katana, Alliance Uganda Country Director, said, "Alliance Uganda will do all it can to support people living with HIV and AIDS to continue accessing treatment and other services they require, and will build on the success of this project to lobby for even greater recognition of the role of people living with HIV in helping to deliver services."

A Network Support Agent’s manual has been produced for distribution to all NSAs prior to the end of the project and a full Alliance report documenting the achievements of the Networks Project will be published later in the year.