In rural Uganda, many women attend the Health Centres supported by Mildmay Uganda for their antenatal care. These centres can be used to mobilise and disseminate information on HIV/AIDs and help the women find a trained midwife. Mildmay Uganda have found that immunisation of children is an excellent ‘focal point’ to reach all women of reproductive age. Whilst visiting the health centres, women are then offered counselling and testing for HIV and if found to be HIV positive will be followed up.
In discussion with Mildmay Uganda, they identified a gap in their services to reach pregnant women in relation to Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission (EMTCT) of HIV.
They identified an urgent need to reach all pregnant women in the rural areas of Mubende district - an area not currently served by their medical teams. This outreach work requires additional Village Health Team (VHT) members and establishing a pool of Mentor Mothers who can work locally.
In Mubende region alone, Mildmay Uganda have estimated that to provide full coverage they need the support of 748 VHTs. At present the service only has 300 teams. A further 448 VHTs are required. The cost towards this VHT service is £300 per team per year to cover training and other support.
In our current project ABC is funding 50 VHTs.
Plans for the future:
It is ABC’s intention to continue our funding for additional VHTs. But much more can be done.
There are many other ways in which you can support including – training and supporting VHTs/Mentor Mothers, Mama Kits, and Delivery kits, mattresses for the Maternity wards.
More detailed information is available on the web site mildmay.or.ug