ROM carried out prevention programs among target groups; PLHIV, their partners, youths and others to reduce the HIV burden and its financial implications. Activities included dissemination of information about HIV/AIDS, HTS, adherence to ART, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Gender-based Violence and other behavioral change information to build beneficiaries’ self-confidence, communication skills, critical thinking and foster independence, thus enabling them to positively contribute to their communities.
In 2022, a total of 15,595 individuals were reached with prevention services.
Out of school youth listen to the facilitator during one of the prevention sessions in the community.
b). Tuberculosis (TB)
Although tuberculosis is preventable and curable, it largely affects the survival of co-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy. ROM has however continued to vigorously diagnose and treat her patients who present with signs of TB.
Byamukama with a TB treatment supporter for review at the ROM Clinic in Mbuya
“Nine years ago, ROM’s HIV care and treatment program helped me defeat death”-Rose
“My name is Rose. I am a mother of six and only two of them are still living. In 2014, my life drastically changed when I had just reached Kampala from the village; I realized that day after day, I was losing weight, had on and off fevers and a generalized skin rash, yet I never smoked or took alcohol. Although I sought treatment from nearby clinics, there was no improvement until I had an HIV test on 10th January 2014, which turned out positive.
The results did not shock me because my husband had died of HIV, a few years back. On 24th June 2015, I was enrolled into the ROM cohort, initiated on ART and co-trimoxazole preventive therapy. That time, doctors said my baseline CD4 cell count was 350 cells/μl.
In 2017 and 2019, I severely suffered from tuberculosis and I was put on two months intensive and four months continuation tuberculosis treatment phases which I successfully completed.
Despite the efforts, I later on became unwell in May 2022, with difficulty in breathing and general body weakness. With support from Reach Out Mbuya, I was admitted at Mulago National Referral hospital with severe respiratory distress. I started on treatment and managed to progress on treatment very well. Since then, I have not had much trouble. I always pick my medicine from Reach Out
Mbuya Banda. I am so thankful to my doctors for supporting me to adhere to ART. Today, my viral load is suppressed to less than 1000 copies/ml and I feel healthy. I am no longer scared of taking ART and anti-TB drugs at the same time, thanks to the work of the counselors at ROM, for I now feel much better and live a normal life. I can testify that their support saved me from death. I even wonder how I would have gotten through this HIV and TB illnesses without the support I received at ROM. To me, ARVs are now familiar and an important part of my everyday life.” Rose narrated.
c). Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
NCDs are increasingly becoming a problem in Uganda, accounting for 33% of the country’s mortality rate, yet very few people know their status or related risk factors. Since 2021, ROM integrated treatment of NCDs in HIV care and treatment, starting specifically with hypertension, diabetes and cervical and breast cancers screening among PLHIV.
“In Uganda, 33% of total deaths are due to NCDs and for every Ugandan
citizen, the probability of dying prematurely from one of the four main
NCDs is 22%. ’’ World Health Organization.
d). Outreach Services and the Mobile Van Services
Since May 2012, ROM has been extending comprehensive HIV services to members of the community through mobile outreaches.
The mobile Van is famous for its ability to reach key and priority populations who live in hard-to-reach areas and their behaviors put them at risk of getting HIV. Services like HIV prevention messages, ART and Gender-based Violence sessions are taken closer
to the people at their residences or places of work. Around Kampala, we locate our clients at Port bell-Luzira, our Knowledge Room at Kinawataka, St. Jude-Naguru, St. Mbaaga-Kiwatule, St. John’s Health Center-Gayaza and Malcom Medical Center- Kulambiro.
In 2022, the mobile van served over 539 clients with ART services and 1000 with prevention services such as HTS sensitization etc.