The World

Today Uganda joins the rest of the world to mark the World AIDS Day (WAD), which is celebrated every 1st of December. Indeed it is an honor and privilege to represent Dr. Addy Kekitiinwa, who is the Executive Director of Baylor-Uganda.
Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation-Uganda (Baylor-Uganda) is a national not-for-profit child health and development organization providing family-centered pediatric HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment service, health professional training, and clinical research in Uganda. Baylor-Uganda is affiliated with Baylor International Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI). BIPAI is a global partnership established in 1996 by Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas USA.
Baylor–Uganda currently operates in 21 districts across the country, serving a projected population of 7,200,000. Through support from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Baylor-Uganda has partnered with the Ministry of Health to address national HIV/AIDS care and treatment as well as maternal and child health services.
Mission: Baylor-Uganda is committed to providing high quality, high impact and highly ethical pediatric, and family centered health care, health professional training and clinical research focused on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, malnutrition, and other conditions impacting the health and well-being of children and families world-wide.
Vision: “A healthy and fulfilled life for every HIV/AIDS infected and affected child and their families in Africa.”
Project Goal: To contribute to the Ministry of Health’s efforts to reduce the incidence of HIV infection and HIV/AIDS related morbidity and mortality among children and adults in Uganda.
The program areas supported are:
• HIV/AIDS Prevention
• Care and Treatment Services
• Health Professional Training & Capacity Building
• Clinical Research
• Maternal-neonatal and Child Illnesses
As a consultant Paediatrician and Adolescent Health Specialist working at Baylor-Uganda and teaching at the Department of Pediatrics and Child health at the Makerere University College of Health Sciences,and also in my capacity as a member of the National Paediatric ART Subcommittee, I feel that the theme of this year’s conference which is: ’Joining Hands to scale up HIV Prevention’ is absolutely appropriate and resonates with our work at Baylor, and personally for me as a Paediatrician and Adolescent Health Specialist promoting prevention among the young people.
Uganda has a very high population of young people, many of whom remain at a constant risk throughout their entire life cycle of transitioning from childhood, through adolescence and adulthood. The number of new infections has remained high among the age bracket 15-24, with girls and young women being most affected. Surprisingly, though, results from the last Ministry of Health Survey of 2016 shows a slight but significant incidence of HIV among boys and young men aged 15-24.
It is important to meaningfully engage young people in prevention efforts; as well as in the 90; 90; 90 UNAIDS Strategy. The recently launched (November 2016) HIV Guidelines for Uganda call for an ambitious Test and Treat Mode. We know that these guidelines cannot be operationalized without adequate funding; a multi-disciplinary approach and the active role of the policy makers and the civil society. The HIV funding envelop continues to dwindle globally, resultantly there is a critical need for innovative ways to ensure continued prevention efforts among those most at risk.
(adolescents and young people,young high risk men, fisher folk communities, hard to reach and access young people from all walks of life) We need to start and continue the conversation on prevention of early sexual initiation among children and adolescents; we need to provide age appropriate information to the children; adolescents; young people and the entire population, so that individuals can make responsible choices. We cannot avoid the sensitive topic of sexuality and gender responsibilities in our communities; moreover we need to up our efforts in engaging the boys and in promoting gender roles and prevention efforts. It is high time the well educated men became role models, and offered prevention interventions to other young people.
Baylor Uganda is a Centre of excellence and key implementing partner for all the behavioral efforts included in the Ministry of Health strategic plans. HIV has indeed become a chronic and manageable disease. When individuals are started on ART,they must adhere to their treatment to avoid resistance development and failure on their 1st,2nd or 3rd line regimens,because as a country we canot afford to treat all the people failing on their regimens; hence the belabored efforts towards prevention of acquisition and transmission. I therefore call upon AAL of you to become more involved at an individual and broader level to ensure that we stop the AIDS scourge within our generation. With zero new AIDS deaths; zero stigma; zero discrimination; zero new infections. It all starts with the individual.

Dr.Sabrina Kitaka

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