HIV status in Uganda: The Big Picture

From Daily Monitor Newspaper
September 17, 2010
“Mr. James Kibanga, the coordinator of National Forum of People Living with HIV networks in Uganda, said there is no reason votes should be given to people who will not mind about their health. He said a successful battle against HIV/AIDS is best fought at the pinnacle of government through disbursing funds, commitment and leadership.
‘The 2010/2011 national budget was virtually silent on the HIV/AIDS crisis, yet only one-third of hte people in need of HIV treatment have access to it, and more than 100,000 people are infected with HIV annually,’ said Dr. Stephen Watiti, the chairman of National Network of People Living with HIV.
Although new data show that HIV treatment reduces HIV transmission by 90%, clinics in Uganda are turning away thousands of patients in urgent need of treatment because of insufficient funding.”
In the small village of Mawanga, the local clinic is also turning away people because of the lack of funds for HIV medication. How will ROWAN respond?
Before ROWAN decides exactly how to serve people living with HIV, the organization will take time this year to research, conduct focus groups and bring HIV stakeholders together within the eastern region of Uganda to gain a better understanding of the current conditions.
On October 2nd, ROWAN members living with HIV were invited to a brainstorming meeting. In the end over seventy people showed up from twenty different villages! They shared with ROWAN staff about their struggles, needs and challenges. ROWAN earnestly asked them:
“How can we help you?”
“What are other organizations doing to help you?”
“If we could do one thing to support you, what would it be?”
The responses were overwhelming with social, economic, medical, physical and spiritual needs. So far no other organizations are helping them besides one which gives basic medications, and they are excited to see how ROWAN will play a role.  And it wouldn’t be a meeting without some dancing and laughing (see video above).
We can’t do everything, but we can do something. Pray with us as we find out how.

Bringing Healthcare to the Hut

One major lesson ROWAN learned this past year is although schools and clinics may teach on issues such as AIDS, disease and general healthcare, these concepts do not translate into the individual home environment. There is a gap between knowledge and application.
This month ROWAN volunteers Christopher, John, Aidah and Sam took the time to visit every ROWAN member’s household to teach about sanitation and hygiene. Some people may ask, “Why not simply hold one healthcare seminar?” Although seminars are impactful, ROWAN wanted to make it personal. By visiting each home, our volunteer was able to sit in the kitchen and talk through how to purify water and sanitize food and plates. The volunteer went to the bathing area and taught on the importance of hygiene to the entire family. The families opened up and asked personal questions which may not have surfaced in a seminar setting. And the best part is, relationships are built and the love of Christ is exemplified through our servant leaders on the ground.
As you support the medical mission of ROWAN, you are supporting our volunteers who dedicate their lives to transforming the community one widow at a time…one orphan at a time…and soon…one community at a time!

Typhoid Outbreak

Hi friends and prayer partners for ROWAN,
Just got an email Yesterday from the local pastor that typhoid has broken out in the community, and even his 6 children are affected. The major borehole is now down, and the villagers are drinking from ponds where their animals drink. I have been on my knees all night- and we are praying about how we can quickly Act on this.
For now, the clinic doesn’t have any medicine to treat the Typhoid, so we are sending over funds to fill the gap. I would suggest that any giving you can do today can go towards this.
Pray with us,