I expected him to die anytime

Children Kizza
Last updated on: 11 March 2024

“My son, Kizza, dropped out of school a year and a half ago. He was sick and I spent sleepless nights nursing him. I didn’t know the cause of his sickness and expected him to die anytime.


A community health worker advised me to go for HIV testing. Kizza was HIV-positive. The health worker also encouraged me to join a family support group. I was so happy to meet other parents with children like Kizza. And he introduced me to a savings group. When it was my turn I bought a goat and some rabbits. They have had offspring, which really helps me financially. I feel much strengthened. Kizza is ten years old now. He is performing well at school. My son is still alive thanks to the community health worker.”

“If I had not been counselled by this community health worker my son would have died long ago.”

– Ms Mukansime


Invest in communities: health workers are the linking pin

Programmes are usually health facility-based which means they do not reach all children. Aidsfonds builds programmes on existing community structures. We train community health workers to be at the heart of the programmes. They link key figures like teachers, religious leaders, savings and support group members, and health facility staff. In this way, everyone works together to trace children with HIV and keep them in care. This approach connects to national-level strategies and partner initiatives, to ensure sustainability.


Communities trace children with HIV

Aidsfonds first introduced the Towards an AIDS Free Generation in Uganda (TAFU) programme in five districts of Uganda. Communities themselves trace HIV-exposed children. As a result, 1017 children and 1355 women accessed healthcare in the past two years, while 1008 people joined savings groups. The programme is now running in three more districts. In 2018, TAFU will be rolled-out to Zimbabwe and Kenia.


Friday November 16, activists and NGOs will be silent in solidarity with those who are silenced, as part of the ‘Together we speak’ campaign.   In the run up Aidsfonds highlights stories of communities who fight for access to healthcare, including HIV treatment. This is the story of Kizza and his mum.