Apprenticeship training restoring hope for out of School girls

Christine 22 years old was staying with her grandmother and five of her siblings in Ntinkalu, a rural community in Eastern Uganda. . She dropped out of school in senior two because her Grannie could no longer afford her school fees, So she joined her grandmother to crash stones in the nearby stone quarry to earn a living for the rest of the family. When we visited their home during a needs assessment, she said she wanted to go for vocational skills training course that will enable her find a job quickly to support the family so that they stop the life threatening stone crushing activity. She opted for a Metal fabrications course and our team of social workers thought it was going to be a challenging course given the fact that she was a girl, but she insisted it’s the only course she wanted.
Today Christine is has completed her course. She went for her Internship in TOTAL Uganda fuel depots and the Company decided to offer her a Job.
“All I wanted was someone to give me school fees but I was determined to do a man’s job. Am happy that I have finished and TOTAL is retaining me. I will be earning UGX 450,000 (USD $ 180. This money will help me, my siblings and also have my grandmother out of the stone quarry. I am very grateful to St. Francis”.

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St Francis Health Care Services is implementing a project; “Strengthening HIV prevention in Buikwe district by fostering individual-community behavioral change through engendered rights advocacy and increased coordinated up take of HIV services”.

The project Goal is to, contribute to the reduction of the HIV prevalence in Buikwe district from 9.4% to 8% by August 2016.

This project is targeting, fisher folk, commercial sex workers, youth out of school, Bodaboda riders, people living with HIV, couples, pregnant mothers, others; general population, political, cultural and religious leaders.

The projects Objectives are;

  1. To empower individuals and communities to effectively demand for quality HIV services and to demand for inclusive delivery of these services among   41,019 target beneficiaries (19,279 males, 21,740 females) in the 6 target sub counties. To increase demand for and utilization of HIV prevention services e.g. HIV testing, PMTCT, SMC.
  2. To increase the adoption of safer sexual behaviors/practices among 41,019 target beneficiaries (19,279 males, 21,740 females) in the 6 target sub counties
  3. To Strengthen advocacy and greater involvement of people having AIDS through Meetings with elders, counselors, religious leaders, Mass sensitization on SGBV
  4. To achieve a well-coordinated HIV prevention response and strengthened M&E systems in Buikwe district. This has been done by facilitating District AIDS committee (DAC) meetings,
    facilitate Sub county AIDS committee (SAC) meetings, facilitate VHT review meetings

To date, 11,915 People have been reached with HIV counseling and testing services in the six sub-counties. 11,917 people have been reached with behavioral change communication message by the 60 VHTs and 60 peer educators that were trained by St. Francis at the beginning of the project. 302 men reached for safe medical male circumcision between the month of December and June. 198 HIV+ mothers were served with the EMTCT services. 126,641 condoms were distributed by the VHTs within the period of one year. 900 community local leaders, political, cultural and religious leaders were reached with BCC messages and information on HIV drivers in communities.35412

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Contributing towards millenium development goal(MDG4)- CHILD SERVIVAL

Uganda has reduced child mortality markedly since the publication of the 2010 MDG Report. If the recent accelerated rate of progress is maintained, Uganda has a chance to meet the MDG target by 2015.

St Francis’ Construction of the children’s ward is an effort to go an extra mile in contributing to the achievement of millennium development goal 4 of reduction of child mortality rates between by 2015.

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AVSI- SCORE project restoring hope for vulnerable households in Buikwe District.

St Francis health Care Services- Njeru in partnership with AVSI- SCORE program is implementing a new project(Sustainable Comprehensive Responses) that is supporting vulnerable children and their households in Wakisi sub-county and Nyenga Sub county in Buikwe District.

The project is reaching 440 vulnerable households(2400 people) with the main goal of decreasing the vulnerability of critically vulnerable children and their households.

And the project objectives are; To improve the socio-economic status of the Vulnerable Children’s household; To improve the food security and nutrition status of Vulnerable Children’s and their household members; To increase the availability of protection and legal services for vulnerable children and their household members; To increase the capacity of vulnerable women and children and their households to access; acquire or provide critical services.

This comprehensive approach to vulnerability has seen many of the lives of these households change tremendously.

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Our successes with Adherence and Retention on Anti Retroviral Therapy

In order to improve on our client’s adherence, retention, and enrolment, we have designed new strategies to ensure our clients CD4 tests are done bi-annually with proper follow up of defaulters made a priority. The adherence team has redesigned a routine clients file review so that daily list of missed appointments can be generated. Follow up phone calls are made to ascertain reasons why clients are not attending their clinic days. We have also ensured that every client that has missed an appointment is taken through an adherence counseling session. This has helped us ascertain and generate a number of causes of defaulting on ART and missed appointments, and in a way this has given us an easier platform for addressing them. This has also helped, these clients set goals and bring on board more treatment supporters who would make sure they adhere to their drugs.

In some cases we have also shortened the defaulting clients’ appointment date up to two weeks, until the adherence officers are sure that the client adherence is improving.ImageImage

These strategies have helped us to enroll a total number of 2451 clients on to the ART program and as well enrolled 9865 clients onto our palliative care program

We are however very confident that with increased global and national efforts to make commitments on increasing on the availability of ART, we hope to make our contribution towards attainment of Millennium Development Goal 6.

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Maternal, Newborn and child health program at St Francis Health Care services.

It’s an injustice that  women still die in childbirth, and that babies are still born with HIV. We believe we can and must continue to treat and find lasting solutions to these conditions wherever they exist in our communities.

The Maternal, Newborn and Child health program at St. Francis Health care Services has continued to contribute to improved Maternal, newborn and child health in Buikwe district and the Surrounding districts. We believe this is good progress on our contribution to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 &5.  Many thanks to our dedicated staff  and Supporters.

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Starting the Conversation with St. Francis

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Learn more about St. Francis Healthcare Services and the Nile Aids Project

At St. Francis Health Care Services we are committed to preventing the further spread of HIV, reducing child mortality, and improving maternal health by providing quality medical care, counseling and education. It is our mission to help our patients live their lives with hope and dignity.

We, at St. Francis, aim to share our progress and projects with the international community through our blog. This blog will cover topics such as:

  • Status updates from ongoing projects, such as the opening of our new maternity ward

  • Volunteer stories about the impact of our generous and hardworking volunteers

  • Statistics on patient adherence, retention, and enrollment rates

  • Updates on the growing popularity of our family support groups.

A group of concerned citizens started St. Francis Healthcare in 1998 to help stop the spread of HIV. St. Francis has been able to help our patients improve their quality of life and the quality of their children’s lives with the help of the local and international community. With your help, we have grown to a staff of 54 professionals servings a patient base of 10,000.

Most everyone is familiar with the harrowing stories of individuals who are infected and affected by the spread of HIV. Some people may not be aware of the heartwarming stories of success against this epidemic. These are stories of grandmothers who support each other as they raise their grandchildren who were left as AIDS orphans, stories of 88,000 people who have voluntarily sought testing and counseling as the stigma associated with HIV fades into the past, and stories of children who go on to live long, healthy lives because their mothers sought antiretroviral treatment during their pregnancies.

Ours is a solvable problem. On this blog, staff members from the Jinja office and other guest contributors will shed light on the health related struggles and victories of our patients and community is facing. In doing so, we’re hoping to start a new conversation about how we can help our neighbors in need.

We’re always interested in your thoughts – send an email to [email address] to let us know what you think about the work St. Francis is doing, reactions to this blog, or suggestions for future items we should cover.

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