The following initiatives help AMS reach our local community in Namuwongo and the greater Kampala region. Our Adult and Youth Peer Educators greatly increase capacity, helping us to better serve our over 14,000 clients and enabling us to spread our message of hope with love.
ADULT PEER EDUCATORS
TOGETHER WE CAN BRING THE SPREAD OF HIV TO ZERO
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. We look forward to expanding the program soon as funding allows!
These AMS ambassadors are uniquely positioned to encourage behaviour change, combat stigma, and help those who are having difficulty disclosing work towards disclosure. Overall, peer educators help work against the spread of HIV through increasing awareness well beyond the walls of the AMS compound.
The potential is great and the tasks are plenty!
Peer educators currently:
-Follow-up when clients have missed appointments
-Support clients who are struggling with adherence to medication, stigma, and disclosure
-Spread awareness of HIV/AIDS and the services available at AMS (and make referrals)
-Escort very sick clients to AMS
-Give Health Talks both at AMS and at community outreaches
YOUTH PEER EDUCATORS (YPE)
THE FIGHT STIGMA CAMPAIGN
AMS youth peer educators serve a similar role to the adult peer educators, supporting young clients in their home communities. The YPEs also meet with youth who are newly diagnosed to offer encouragement and extend an invitation to join the Victor’s Club.
Next up for the youth peer educators is the Fight Stigma Campaign, which will take health talks from the AMS compound into local schools.
Our work extends beyond the clinic compound thanks to the help of our Community Health Workers (CHW). They conduct weekly outreaches, meeting with clients at their homes and sensitizing the broader community to the challenges of HIV/AIDS. The CHW serve as a link between AMS and the community—bringing important messages from AMS to the community and returning with feedback and observations from the community. The CHWs are also trained in Home-Based Care and are able to bring treatment such as anti-malarial medication to clients. This service helps us improve the quality of life of our clients as the CHW can really see how clients are doing at home with HIV/AIDS.
AMS is a community-based education and service (COBES) 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 doing HIV counselling. Medical students assist our CHWs on outreaches in conducting community diagnosis.
Periodically, AMS also 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.