By Solomon Muleyi
Dr. Ian Clarke, the mayor of Makindye division is leading by example as he was recently spotted at a Uganda Health Marketing Group (UHMG) bus testing for HIV.
He cited that if he did, the residents of his division will follow suit for it’s the right way to go in as far as fighting HIV/AIDS is concerned.
According to the driver of the bus also the logistics assistant and counselor, Kasozi Joseph, many strategies have been thrust afore to control the rampancy of HIV/AIDS prevalence in Uganda and while many have been successful, there has always been need to beef up the strategies.
“That is why UHMG has come up with a strategy dubbed ‘the bus testing’ where a mini bus moves around various suburbs of Kampala testing people for HIV,” said Kasozi.
He says their strategy is to reach out to all the people considering that some are either too busy to go to health centers for testing as most of them are always head deep, buried in the work that puts food on their tables.
“If we go to these people at their places of work and residences, you will be surprised at how convenient it is to most of them. Most of them find it easier to test in a bus as the results are received in less than 15 minutes after which we refer them to the right places for circumcision and the necessary medical assistance required according to their results,” said Kasozi.
The testing has gone on in suburbs like Kawempe, Bwaise, Ki-mombasa, Makindye, Salama, and the fascinating bit of the whole equation is where they get to visit and attempt to test sex workers around top pub and Speke road.
“I tested here because I was too busy and going to a healthy centre sometimes takes a lot of time as it takes a lot of confidence and contemplation unlike here where you are invited and without giving it a lot of thought, you get tested,” said Namalwa Suzan, a resident of Kawempe who tested with the project in Kawempe.
“It was near my work place, that is why I tested in the bus,” noted Senyonjo Peterson, a resident of Bwaise, a suburb in Kampala.
For a project that started in October 2012, the results registered have undoubtedly impacted positively on the lives of Ugandans in the covered areas as according to the USAID Uganda cumulative HCT report, 309,279 people were counseled, 309,296 tested, 308,878 received HIV results, 129,833 received their results for the first time.
Door to door HIV counseling and testing