Uganda has a high gap between paediatric and adult treatment with the national paediatric ART coverage at 32%, compared to 52% for adults. Baylor-Uganda partnered with the ELMA Foundation to improve paediatric ART coverage in Kamwenge, Kabarole, Kasese and Kabarole districts in Rwenzori region. The project which is implemented in 28 public and private not for profit and 23 private health facilities focused on identification of new HIV+ children and adolescents, linkage of identified HIV+ cases and retention of those enrolled on ART and also increase access to quality HIV treatment for children and adolescents.
There was a significant improvement in early diagnosis and enrolment of children and adolescents through building capacity of Routine Counselling and testing (RCT) volunteers to provide HIV testing at critical entry points. Children were reached with HIV testing services (HTS) during the Know Your Child Status (KYCS) campaigns. HTC services targeted OVC dwelling homes, children of tea plantation workers and children of key and priority populations. 21 evening testing centres were established for adolescents while health workers were trained on proactive identification of HIV exposed infants at Young Child Clinics (YCC). during the reporting period, meetings were also held with caregivers, Family Support Groups members, and peer support groups in order to increase access to quality HIV treatment for children and adolescents and also support mother-baby pair retention.
24 Health facilities were also supported with assorted child and adolescent friendly edutainment and play materials in addition to the adolescent-only HIV clinics that were set up. This was complemented with comprehensive HIV training and mentorship for 54 Health workers and 58 adolescent peer leaders on adolescent HIV care treatment and support. Other trainings were on Infant & Young child Feeding(IYCF). VHTs were also trained on HIV Home Based Care management of children, adolescents and their families.