KIHEFO promotes local initiated solutions to fight disease, ignorance and poverty in southwestern Uganda
KIHEFO’s HIV Outreach team, including nurses, counselors and family planning service providers, have been busy over the past two weeks conducting HIV testing and counseling outreaches in rural locations in the Kabale, Kisoro and Kanungu Districts.
KIHEFO’s expertise in facilitating HIV testing and medical outreach camps was recognized by another non-government organization working in the region called Nature Uganda.
For over a decade, Nature Uganda has been working with Bakiga and Batwa (indigenous) communities living at the edge of the Echuya Forest, a protected bamboo forest that is connected to Bwindi Impenetrable Forest, which is home to the world’s last population of mountain gorillas. Nature Uganda’s aim is to sensitize communities to the importance of forest conservation, while empowering them to develop sustainably through income-generation projects. They also respond to the needs of communities, including health concerns, which they recognize has an impact on the way communities interact with the forest and forest’s resources.
“We did a series of HIV sensitization campaigns [earlier in the year], and people asked that we come back to do testing,” said Zeneb, a Community Development Officer with Nature Uganda.
“KIHEFO is the best for community health work,” she said, explaining how Nature Uganda came to contact KIHEFO, and contract their services for the outreaches.
Throughout the month of November, KIHEFO will visit nine rural communities and conduct HIV testing and counseling with whom Nature Uganda partners with on a regular basis.
Last week, KIHEFO’s HIV outreach team traveled to the village of Ikamiro, located around Lake Bunyonyi in the Kabale District. Here, they organized themselves in the Anglican church, and set up stations for testing, analyzing results, and providing counseling to all patients about their results.
Primary five and six students from a nearby school attended for testing, along with men and women from neighbouring villages. In total, KIHEFO tested around 100 people for HIV, and provided counseling to all who attended.
The outreaches will continue into the week. It’s estimated that around 1500 people will receive testing and counseling services through the nine outreaches.
To learn more about KIHEFO’s activities, and find out how you can become involved, please visit our website – click here.