University of Wisconsin students amazed at ROM’s holistic approach to HIV care and treatment

What started as a normal study visit to Reach Out Mbuya Community Health Initiative (ROM) by the students ended in amazement, as they all admired how ROM strives to ensure her clients live dignified lives under HIV treatment and Care. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is a United States of America based university.

When the eleven-member team, led by Professor James Ntambi visited our clinic, pharmacy, laboratory, the prevention and community sections, they appreciated the holistic model of care that ROM employs to ensure a healthy body, positive mindset and empowered families and communities of her clients.

It was amazing for the students, most of whom majoring in Maternal health, Pediatrics, Nutrition, Biology, Chemistry, Psychology, Household Economics and Agriculture, to learn that ROM’s programing caters for all those areas.

They were also surprised to learn that ROM was the first beneficiary of the Presidential Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and that the first PEPFAR patient, John Robert Engole was a ROM client and is still living.

They were also very impressed with the element of economic empowerment. “In the documentary we have watched clients so thankful to ROM for lifting them from poverty through economic empowerment. What exactly does ROM do in this regard?”, asked one of the students. She was thus informed that ROM puts emphasis on this area to reduce clients and their families’ over dependency, by providing financial literacy sessions to them through Village Savings and Loans Association groups, urban farming lessons, linking some to government programs   and banks to get loans and provide access to payable grants.

After the clinic tour, the team also visited three of ROM’s Village Savings and Loans Association groups; Victory, Christmas and 22 Stars Women’s Groups, where they learned and appreciated ROM’s clients’ saving culture. Here, they bought a number of hand crafts to support the groups.

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