Counting the most important wins first

Charles Kawuma
Last updated on: 26 February 2024

Charles Kawuma recognises how impactful the community-led approach has been on rallying both the community and healthcare workers around addressing paediatric HIV. Charles highlights that youth voices and mothers living with HIV have been elevated and the gaps in care between community and health centres reduced. He works as a health educator and HIV focal person in Mubende District, Uganda and is involved in the Towards an AIDS Free Generation in Uganda programme.

“The youth voices in HIV are now more noticeable. It has helped us know the issues faced by the youth and what to address. For example, we no longer work through generalised services and use more youth-friendly services.  Using the youth peer educators supported by PATA (a Breakthrough project partner) has helped us with awareness raising to reach more young people than ever before. We have realised a closer connection between our health centres and the communities which has improved client tracing, referral and ultimately treatment outcomes. Much as we persistently have few health workers, these trained youths and community structures help with mobilisation and basic health education to reach fellow young people and other targeted groups such as mothers, caretakers, and exposed infants”.

He recognises that using multiple pathways in the community, at the health centre, and ensuring that the various community workers are well trained and linked together is crucial for paediatric HIV prevention and care.

“Moving forward, we are sure we can sustain a number of efforts started because of the technical capacity built within our health officers. I have observed a culture of ownership built within our community health workers, the youths, and health officers which will keep the changes alive.”

Community Breakthroughs Storybook

Charles Kawuma’s and many more inspiring voices on community-led interventions supported by Aidsfonds and our partners aimed at ending paediatric HIV in some of the worst affected areas in Uganda, have been captured in an comprehensive storybook. This Community Breakthroughs – Community-led Interventions for an AIDS Free Uganda Storybook is available for download.

Download it here!