"The national wide household survey will help us estimate HIV incidents, prevalence, viral load suppression among children and adults.”
PIC: The US ambassador to Uganda Deborah Malac (L) and the health minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng (R) flag off of the Uganda Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (UPHIA) survey at the ministry head offices on August 23, 2016.Photos/ Nicholas Oneal
The National population HIV impact assessment survey kicks off today (Wednesday). The survey is expected to be carried out in 10 regions. Search Eligible participants are 0 to 64 years of age.
About 300 survey fieldworkers have been dispatched to collect data in the districts. The fieldworkers have been equipped with knowledge and skills to collect data using electronic tablets.
The Assistant Commissioner National Disease Control, Dr Alex Opio who is also the director of the population-based HIV Impact Assessment Survey (UPHIA) said the public has been mobilized to ensure good participation. The Centres for disease Control and Prevention (CDC) with funding from PEPFAR has injected $8m (sh27b) for the implementation of the study.
Opio said the survey is slated to last for only six months. “Our plan is to spend the next six months in the field collecting data. This means that the fieldwork will end in early March 2017. Data analysis will commence with anticipation of new HIV statistics becoming available two months later,” Opio explained.
Speaking during the launch of the survey, health minister Dr Jane Aceng said: “the national wide household survey will help us estimate HIV incidents, prevalence, viral load suppression among children and adults.”
According to the minister, the country has observed significant achievements in decline in the new HIV infection, AIDS related deaths as well as significant increase in number of people living with HIV/AIDS who receive care and treatment.
The US Ambassador, Deborah Malac, said this survey will be a key element for Ugandan and international health officials in making a comprehensive strategy for continuing the fight against HIV in Uganda.
“While the fight is not yet over, we have realized significant gains, and we will continue to support these efforts. In Uganda, the United States has invested nearly $3 billion in this battle, which has transformed the lives of millions. And that is why we support the timely launch of this assessment survey,' she said.
She added that continued research is necessary to focus efforts on the necessary steps to reach by 2020 UNAIDS' ambitious "90-90-90" goals to have 90% of all Ugandans living with HIV knowing their HIV status; 90% of those diagnosed receiving sustained anti-retroviral therapy (ART); and 90% of those on ART having viral suppression.
Steven Wiersma Country Director of CDC said they have been supporting the health ministry in addressing Uganda's health challenges not only HIV/AIDS but also in helping to control malaria and other infectious diseases, providing maternal and child health programs, and training for health professionals.
He said CDC has contributed over $1 billion in various Uganda health programmes including HIV prevention through elimination of Mother to Child (EMTC), Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC), and care and treatment.
“This is the first time we are including children in the UPHIA, a good sign of our commitment to improving paediatric HIV, because children are lagging behind in the response,” he noted.
This survey is being implemented with support from Centres for Disease control and prevention and ICAP at Columbia University, other partners include Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), Uganda bureau of statistics (UBOS) and Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) World health Organisation(WHO) and UNAIDS.