Adult Peer Educators
AMS recently rolled out a peer-led community outreach program to support and follow-up our clients in the communities where they live. So far, we have trained 50 adult peer educators who work within the Makindye division of Kampala.
These AMS ambassadors are uniquely positioned to encourage behaviour change, combat stigma, and help those who are having difficulty disclosing work towards disclosure. Peer educators help work against the spread of HIV by increasing awareness well beyond the walls of the AMS compound. These integral members of our team follow-up with clients when they have missed their appointments; support those struggling with adherence to medication, stigma, and disclosure; spread awareness of HIV/AIDS and the services available at AMS; escort severely ill clients to AMS; and provide health talks at AMS and during community outreaches.
Youth Peer Educators
AMS youth peer educators serve a similar role to the adult peer educators, supporting young clients in their home communities. Youth peer educators also meet with youth who are newly diagnosed to offer encouragement and extend an invitation to join the Victor’s Club. As of November 2017, AMS has trained 30 youth to become peer educators.
Our work extends beyond the clinic compound thanks to the help of our community health workers. They conduct weekly outreaches, meet with clients at their homes, and sensitize the broader community to the challenges of HIV/AIDS. Community health workers serve as a link between AMS and the community, spreading health messages and returning with feedback and observations about AMS’ services and support. The community health workers are also trained in home-based care, allowing them to provide anti-malarial medication to clients.
AMS is a community-based education and service site for medical students from Makerere University College of Health Sciences, an attachment site for non-medical students from Uganda Christian University and Makerere University Faculty of Social Sciences, and a training/internship site for students involved in HIV counselling. Medical students assist our community health workers on outreaches in conducting community diagnosis.
Periodically, AMS conducts satellite outreaches for children and youth in Katuuso. During these mobile clinics, we bring AMS to the community of Katuuso, diagnosing, treating, and supporting the children and youth.