TOUCH A SOUL THROUGH THE TOUCH NAMUWONGO PROJECT
One of the University’s community initiatives is the “Touch Namuwongo Project” which was formed to address the gap in secondary and tertiary health care for the poor and vulnerable populations living in communities where we work. The emphasis for intervention was focused on the most pressing health needs of the communities that included: HIV & AIDS, Tuberculosis, Sexual and Reproductive health. The initial beneficiaries of our project were women and children living in the hard to reach communities but recently the men have been included. Over the years, the project has developed and constituted a number of primary health care and community health clusters funded by individuals, local and international donors.
Touch Namuwongo Urban TB & HIV Control Cluster.
The project has several clusters and one of them is the Urban TB & HIV Control cluster implemented within Makindye division. This was established in 2008 with an aim of reducing TB & HIV related mortality and morbidity in the urban slums of Makindye division, Kampala, through improved access to essential TB and HIV/AIDS information , prevention , testing and treatment services. It is based on a sustainable community empowerment model with involvement of Village Health teams at the community level.
Other clusters include:
Home-based care for HIV/TB patients
All TB and HIV patients under clinical care are paid a visit by the TB nurse. This is done to fight stigma and discrimination, ensure proper adherence to treatment, and encourage disclosure and family support. During the home-care visits, pill counting and nutritional assessment is done, as well as contact tracing.
As part of our routine activities, we conduct community outreaches where we provide TB screening services. This has led to an increase in the number of individuals accessing the TB services. On spot sputum collection is done during the outreaches and all confirmed cases are later informed and counseled to start on treatment. In this approach, individuals screened receive results over the phone call done by the TB nurse.
Facility-based HIV/TB counseling and testing and Screening and Clinical care for HIV and TB patients
All individuals testing positive with HIV are referred to the clinic for further management and support. Free Antiretroviral and septrine are provided. The project continues to facilitate all the laboratory investigations which are needed to facilitate proper management of the patients.