Reach Out Mbuya Parish HIV/AIDS Initiative (ROM) is a Community Faith-based Organisation under Our Lady of Africa Church Mbuya Catholic Parish, Kampala. ROM provides holistic care to its clients through the provision of comprehensive health and social programmes. It also endeavours to share its knowledge and experience with other communities, in order to ensure that similar independent, community-owned programmes are successfully proliferated. Interventions are designed through community participation and a network of community workers function within the communities fighting stigma, counselling and promoting program success. In 2006, ROM was granted NGO status and is operating under the Ugandan NGO Governing Policies under registration number S. 5917/6307.
ROM operates in Mbuya Catholic Parish, located in Nakawa Division, the eastern part of Kampala District. We are on Plot 1, Boazman Road in Mbuya II Hill. It is six kilometers from Kampala city center and less than a kilometer from Bugolobi trading center.
ROM has been mindful that geographical and financial access are critical to patient retention and created satellite clinics within the communities to provide comprehensive services. We run four service clinics: Mbuya, Banda, and Kinawataka in Kampala district, and Kasaala, about 75kms away, in Luweero district.
It was appropriate to extend services closer to the communities by establishing satellite sites within the population to ease access and also be positioned to reach the ever-growing number of people requiring HIV/AIDS services.
Holistic model of care
ROM uses a community-based approach and a holistic model of care. The holistic model is a unique approach developed by Reach Out that cares for the body, mind, family, and community needs of her clients to restore hope to the hopeless and good health to the sick.
The holistic model of care relies heavily on community-based approaches that emphasize community ownership. ROM strategically has over 49% of its staff drawn from its HIV-positive clients who hail from the catchment population.
Kampala district, where three ROM sites are located, has a high HIV prevalence rate. ROM’s values of serving the poor and the holistic nature of its services have inevitably seen the number of clients it serves grow remarkably over its 15 years of existence.
The organization is headed by an Executive Director and an eleven-member Board of Directors chaired by the parish priest of Our Lady of Africa Catholic Church, Mbuya.
The target population in the area is about 95,000, and the HIV prevalence in this area is 9%. Women form 63% of the persons served. Most of them are single, widowed or elderly with minimal schooling and/or no source of regular income in their households.