The source. AVSI's presence in Uganda began with some Italian doctors who, in the early 80's, worked at St. Joseph's missionary hospital in Kitgum and who felt it necessary to begin a formal collaboration with the hospital and local institutions to improve the quality of services offered.
Areas of work. From 1990 onwards, AVSI has strengthened its presence in Kampala, where today we have our country headquarters, as well as in the Pader and Hoima areas and in another 12 districts in the country. Over the years, hundreds of projects have been completed of a healthcare (with different initiatives to combat the spread of HIV), psychosocial, educational, nutritional and agricultural nature, as well as mine-clearance operations and the management of camps for displaced people within the country.
Bringing smiles to faces of women living with HIV: Beatrice’s story. “My husband and I did not imagine that, infected with HIV, I would give birth to an HIV-free baby” Beatrice, as she narrates her story with poise. Mindful of their health status, 30 year old Beatrice Ajok and her husband agreed not to have one more child. The mother of three felt distressed when she found out she had conceived. Richard did not stay away from his wife. He supported Beatrice. Terminating the pregnancy was no option even when the couple believed that their child might be infected at birth. The nurse Beatrice met at the health facility was reassuring: she encouraged Beatrice to report for the next antenatal visit and also enroll in a Family Support Group at Puranga Health Center III in Pader District where she met mothers with comparable stories. In their group, the women met weekly and were taught life skills, savings and investment expertise, and also accessed healthcare. “the group enabled me to save money, get my drugs in time and also complete my checkups. I gave birth at a health facility and the baby is healthy and HIV free”. Puranga Health Center III is one of 249 health facilities (hospitals, HC IV, HC III and HC II) where AVSI provides maternal, new born, child health and nutrition services. #worldaidsday #aids #hiv #baby #newborn #africans #africanbaby #africanportraits #africanstories #everydayafrica #uganda #kampala #africanchild #africanmother #eyesofchildrenaroundtheworld
Instability in the north of the country. Northern Uganda has gone through long periods of instability due to the bloody clashes between rebels and Government forces, and tension and violence along the border with Sudan. Events that have caused many displaced persons and refugees, and required significant flexibility from AVSI staff regarding current projects, to meet the needs of the population with both long-term programs and an immediate emergency response.
The holistic approach. Our ten-year presence in Uganda and our vast experience gained in the field have confirmed the effectiveness of a holistic and integrated approach, which always focuses on the human factor as the prime mover of development, proper to each project: a way of working that has allowed AVSI to earn the trust of beneficiaries and local organizations.