Kamdini – Friends of Goodwill [FoG] – a not-for-profit organisation’s determination to promote better health among communities alongside fighting teenage pregnancy in Oyam district has been welcomed.
This has been made possible through a grant from the American government under PEPFAR for a project entitled: “Strengthening HIV/AIDS Prevention, Education and Care for HIV-Positive Young People.”
The activities are taking place in Kamdini sub-county and surrounding areas.
On 23rd October 2019, the organization mobilized and conducted HIV/AIDS prevention and sensitization for the people of Akuridiya village, Nora parish, Kamdini sub-county in Oyam district.
That event was attended by over 100 direct and indirect beneficiaries and was officiated by Ms Joyce Aguti, the senior Community Development Officer (CDO) for Kamdini sub-county.
In her words, she thanked FoG for bringing such activities to the people of Kamdini and the neighbouring communities.
Ms Aguti cited Kamdini sub-county as the ‘hotspot’ for HIV/AIDs epidemic alongside Otwal sub-county “due to their strategic business locations and major activities taking place at the moment”.
“People especially the youths should be cautious when they get the partners. HIV testing should be the first priority since it’s free and always I encourage them to use protective such as condoms,” she added.
In her request to FoG, Ms Joyce Aguti said: “If there is some funding, it should be allocated to training especially the youths in business management skills so that they can start something small that will make them reach somewhere.”
Meanwhile, Mr Walter Okello who’s a councillor for Norah to Kamdini sub-county council stated that “many people are going with rumours that HIV testing and sensitization was a usual thing not knowing that is why USAID and PEPFAR gave the funding to start sensitization afresh.”
The area leader, who says he’s champion for change added that fresh sensitization has effectively helped.
“Government of Uganda in 1980s initiated strategies to curb HIV/AIDS using three strategies such as “ABC” that is: Abstaining from sex, Being faithful to your current partner and Using condoms which has seen decrease in HIV/AIDs spread in this recent years,” he added.
Speaking to the beneficiaries last week, Mr Jasper Adoko Okao, the FoG’s project manager said a number of initiatives are in place to curb the dilemma.
He says junior farming is one of the initiatives. In this he added: “Groups are created and when they can start, they are given small money that can help them start little business.”
“This is followed by savings which at the end of the year help them acquire animals and other essentials, and by continuously doing that saving scheme, they can be able to make it somewhere,” Mr Okao told TND News.
He advised that youths should to be careful and do regular testing and know their statuses.
“The purpose of Anti-Retroviral Drug is to allow your body have the ability to fight other disease attack. The sick people should adhere to their drugs,” he advised.
FoG peer educators and a team of health workers from Pope John Paul Hospital, Aber conducted free HIV testing and counselling. It registered overwhelming turn-up by the communities.
FoG’s goal: “To raise awareness of HIV/AIDS prevention strategies and empower local communities in Oyam district [Kamdini sub-county] to address early child marriage, teen pregnancy, gender-based violence and reproductive health.”
On Sunday 27, October 2019, the organisation had the same engagement in Aber [Jaberi] Ginnery, Aber sub-county in Oyam district.