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MHRP Community Engagement Meeting held in Uganda
The inaugural MHRP PEPFAR community engagement meeting was held July 8-10, 2009 in Kampala, Uganda. Representatives from all four MHRP PEPFAR teams came together to discuss country programs and address a wide range of shared activities, including: community linkages, orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) services, nutrition programming, male circumcision, Lost-to-Follow-Up (LTFU) and Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT).
After a day of presentations focused on general country updates, the group traveled to Kayunga, where participants learned about Makerere University Walter-Reed Project’s (MUWRP) dynamic range of activities firsthand. The day began with a ceremony marking the official opening of the Kayunga Male Circumcision program, which included a tour of the circumcision wing of Kayunga District Hospital, as well as multiple tree-plantings. The group then had an opportunity to visit farm plots in local villages run by MUWRP treatment clubs.
On the final day of the meeting, the group traveled to Kayunga again, and spent time visiting the Kayunga Youth Centre. Here, several presentations and discussions took place covering Strategic Information and house-to-house programming.
Participants came away from the meeting seeming eager to discuss more with their colleagues and pleased to have learned so much from their counterparts at other sites. Many expressed interest in sharing existing M&E tools for program areas such as OVC and nutrition; improving coordination within home-based care; and strengthening referrals to ART clinics.