Soroti, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The AIDS Support Organization-TASO has handed over the component of Orphans and Vulnerable Children-OVC to Integrated Child and Youth Development-ICYD in the Teso sub-region. TASO has been providing free counselling, social support, limited medical care, community mobilizing, advocacy and networking, in addition to support to the OVCs.
However, the OVC component now shifts to ICYD, Uganda’s government local stakeholders’ partnership with USAID in providing support and services to the young generation. ICYD will now be working with the children living with HIV/AIDS, infants exposed to HIV infection at birth, children of female sex workers and children of non-suppressed viral load caretakers, among others according to Gilbert Obore, the Technical Advisor in charge of Community Systems Strengthening at TASO.
Obore says that ICYD is expected to boost the efforts of OVC programming as part of the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) guidance to transition OVC programming from the Centre of Disease Control and Prevention-CDC USAID program. He adds that TASO shall remain to offer comprehensive HIV prevention, care and treatment services through Health Systems Strengthening Approach in the region.
“By handing over the OVC sub-component to ICYD, TASO will continue with other programs that have been carried out in the districts normally”, he said.
Hussein Rehema, the Monitoring and Evaluation Coordinator at ICYD, says that they are implementing a five-year PEPFAR/USAID grant, which delivers basic education and health to children and youth by strengthening young people’s ability to critically engage with their environment to address the health and safety needs that make it more likely to reach their potential.
She says that the support shall be channelled through health facilities where the children get treatment, adding that the purpose of the program is to enhance the work of TASO in the region for the HIV infected children to obtain better treatment.
Jane Akiror, the Deputy Chief Administrative Officer Soroti applauded TASO for the good work they have done in transforming the society through their enormous activities in the region.
“We are happy to be associated with TASO in fighting HIV/AIDS. They have committed partners with a good working relationship, its output is readily seen on the ground. As Soroti district, we welcome the new partnership with ICYD on OVC and we look forward to working with you for the good of the community”, she said.
ICYD is currently operating through local partners to deliver comprehensive OVC programming in 29 districts of Uganda and is expected to expand its programming to 44 districts in the country.