Presentation on theme: "PROMOTING ACCESS TO HIV&AIDS SERVICES BY PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (PWDs): A CASE STUDY OF TASO UGANDA BY KWAGALA BABIRYE BETTY ICASA 2011 ETHIOPIA."— Presentation transcript:
PROMOTING ACCESS TO HIV&AIDS SERVICES BY PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES (PWDs): A CASE STUDY OF TASO UGANDA BY KWAGALA BABIRYE BETTY ICASA 2011 ETHIOPIA
ABOUT TASO The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) was founded in 1987 by Noerine Kaleeba and a group of friends and colleagues some of whom were infected by HIV. The founders met informally in each other's homes or offices to provide mutual psychological and social support. Cohesion among these was strengthened by the fact that they were either directly infected with HIV or implicitly affected because their very close familial associates were infected.
One distinguished feature about the founder members was that they voluntarily used their time and other resources to visit AIDS patients, carrying them to the hospital and sometimes providing basic material and counseling support.
Today TASO is one of the largest indigenous Non Governmental Organization providing HIV/AIDS services in Uganda and Africa. It cares for over 100,000 people annually through HIV counseling, medical care as well as social support
Back ground PWDs face a multitude of challenges when accessing services and information about HIV/AIDS care and support. PWDs living with HIV/AIDS experience a double stigma in accessing care and treatment from AIDS service centers. There is a common misperception that PWDs are sexually inactive, and unlikely to be infected. AIDS service organizations have tended to overlook the needs of PWDs in prevention campaigns and other services due to their unique challenges and concerns.
Health practitioners often lack the necessary knowledge, skills and resources to provide accessible, appropriate services to PWDs living with HIV/AIDS. Like communicating to the deaf Handling those with mental health issues Guiding the blind PWDS not aware of the existing HIV and AIDS programs Negative attitude by service providers
A low priority on providing sexual health information has limited the ability of PWDs to understand prevention messages and to negotiate safer sexual behaviors.
TASO serves two categories of PWDS- those who joined TASO when they were already disabled and the second category is of those that got disabilities as a result of opportunistic infections drug side effects, Either of the two categories the statistics are not accurately known to the service providers for proper.
. Its upon this background that TASO and partners took significant steps to mainstream the issues of disability into their programs, and a counselor with disabilities was employed to handle their issues in HIV management. Some staff were trained in sign language to support deaf clients. This attracted PWDS to seek care and support from different centers however, the exact statistics of PWDS is unknown.
TASO continued to have increasing cases of disabilities but, the statistics remains unknown therefore it’s very difficult to associate particular barriers PWDS face while seeking for services, and it’s not clear whether the services offered are disability-friendly that’s why the study was thought to be carried out by TASO Uganda to find out possible barriers and the correct proportion of PWDS clients. The study is in its final stages.
CHALLENGES IN ACCESSING AIDS SERVICE Despite the fact that PWDS have a right to access services like any other person, gaps have been identified in provision of HIV and AIDS services at different levels. Most AIDS programs do not target PWDS infected and affected. HIV and AIDS information is not in disability friendly formats such as large prints, Braille for visually impaired, and sign language for the hearing impaired so that they get information which is second hand.
Way Forward Awareness campaigns on prevention. Target PWDS to participate in HCT services Outreaches and home visits to target PWDS. Care and treatment initiatives Promote disability, accessible friendly services for PWDS in HIV and AIDS management Sensitization for service providers Negative on the rights of PWDS.