The Government of Uganda in partnership with the Government of Rwanda has developed a three year Rwanda – Uganda cross-border HIV/AIDS (RUHP) project aimed at establishing a prevention and treatment model that utilizes peer mentors for satisfactory access to HIV and AIDS prevention services among the key populations.
The Sexual Reproductive and Health Rights (SRHR) for key populations will be founded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and is being implemented by Organization for Community Empowerment (OCE) an NGO based in Lyantonde District that envisions a society of people living quality lives.
According to the Executive Director of Organization for Community Empowerment (OCE) Wasswa Achilles Kawooya the Shs 741,567,600 project followed by a visit study between Uganda and Rwanda to address part of the problem of high HIV prevalence among key populations such as female sex workers in six of districts of Lyantonde, Ntungamo and Kabale in Uganda and Kigali, Nyagatare and Musanze in Rwanda.
Kawooya said that commercial sex workers have become a common problem to the communities hosting them through increasing the spread of HIV/AIDS in the districts along the main highways both in Uganda and Rwanda thus coming up with the project in order to access ART services including pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) and Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) among them.
He pointed out that young ladies have turned themselves into a cross border commercial sex workers where they normally disguise as looking for jobs with intention for quick wealth.
Kawooya noted that they are targeting long distance truck drivers, commercial sex workers, miners, men in uniform motorcyclists and drug abusers.
The Ntungamo District health Educator Twesigye Nesterio welcomed the initiative saying that commercial sex workers have been increasing day by day from neighboring districts and countries to towns of Rubaare, Kafunjo, Nyamukana, Kitwe, Rwentobo-Rwahi and Ntungamo Municipality.
Twesigye said that this project will increase social and economic capacity among key populations to create alternative income to meet their basic needs.
While launching the project in the district council hall this week, the RDC Ntungamo George Bakunda commended the government of Sweden for considering Ntungamo district noting that it was very timely and vital.
The Organization for Community Empowerment (OCE) project which will end in 2023 will work with five health centers of Ntungamo Municipal HCIV, Rweikiniro HCIII, Ruhaama HCIII, Kitwe HCIV and Kafunjo HCII all along Ntungamo-Mirama- Kagitumba road.