AIDS Care & Treatment (ACT)

HIV counseling and testing
HIV counseling and testing is done on daily basis at every entry point (every department of the hospital). This exercise in done by experienced staff who are readily available and Patients diagnosed with HIV are then linked to care according to their area of preference.

PMTCT Program (Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission)
The PMTCT program has been active in Kitovu hospital for the past eleven years. The main aim of the program is to reduce the risk of HIV transmission for HIV positive mothers to their babies.

The program involves testing all pregnant mothers for HIV as they come to attend antenatal care (ANC). Those found to be HIV positive are then started on antiretroviral therapy to reduce the risk of transmission of the HIV virus to their babies.
The program also has components of nutritional education that is offered to the mother to ensure that they practice the most appropriate infant feeding practices to ensure they have healthy babies.

The partners of these mothers are also encouraged to come for HIV testing and those positive referred to HIV care points.

Infants born to mothers infected with HIV are given preventive medication and also followed up (EID) program until we confirm the final diagnoses whether negative or positive, if found positive, the infant is linked to care.

Anti-retro-viral therapy
The ART clinic started on 16th March 2012. During this financial year 2012/2013 the Kitovu ART clinic became part of the UCMB ACT program that is supported and funded by centre for disease control (CDC).

By the time the ACT program took over the Kitovu ART clinic, the ART clinic had 2 staff 50 patients and was only operating twice a month. It also had eight pregnant women and one infant on ARV’s

The ART clinic was taken over by the ACT program in October 2012 and it has since then expanded to include many more programs and human resource. The program now runs 5 days a week exluding public holidays.

Below is a list of the programs under the ART clinic/ACT program.

  • ART treatment
  • Tuberculosis (TB) treatment
  • Elimination of mother to child transmission (EMTCT) of HIV
  • Safe male circumcision (SMC
  • AB/Value of life (Priority populations)
  • Village health teams (VHT’s)
  • Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC)
  • early infant diagnosis (EID)
  • Nutrition
  • HIV testing services (HTS)
  • Gender based violence

Achievements of the ACT Program since its inception
– The ART clinic was able to get support from the UCMB AIDS care and treatment (ACT) program and this has expanded the number of services and programs offered by the ART clinic.
– The ACT program has also been able to increase the human resource in the ART clinic from 2 to 16 thus improving the quality of care and record keeping in the ART clinic.
– The ART clinic has also been able to increase the number of days it operates from two days in a month to five days a week minimizing waiting time for patients seeking HIV care.
– The cumulative number of patients ever enrolled in the ART clinic has also increased from 50 to 945.
– The ACT program through the OVC arm has been able to cater for over 1700 orphans and vulnerable children by equipping them with 6 core program areas like Health services, economic strengthening, child protection, education, psycho-socio supports and water, sanitation and food security.
– The ACT program has been able to employ staffs who are fully paid by ACT.
– There are 15 village health team (VHT’s) members in the ACT program.
– The program has been able to start the construction of an adolescent friendly corner and patient waiting area.

Challenges
– There is limited space for conducting continued counseling for patients attending the clinic. The current counseling room is not enough for the three counselors conducting these daily counseling sessions.
– The ART program has expanded but the current available staffs are still not enough to meet the demands of the new programs under the ART clinic.
– No vehicle for home visits and patient follow up.
-Lack of privacy for the ART patients because the ACT clinic shares the same infrastructure as the General OPD.
– There is only one room for the ACT program which acts as the data room, SMC focal point, coordination office and the General ACT office.