Established in 2004, PREFA has over the years recognized that its strength lies in grounded engagements with families, communities and key targeted populations to accelerate reduction of new HIV infections through combination HIV prevention services .In the last 12 years, PREFA has uniquely contributed to Uganda’s efforts to enhance access to quality HIV/AIDS prevention, care, treatment, and support services to families with a focus on Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission-Early Infant Diagnosis (PMTCT-EID) and Option B Plus to all PREFA -supported health facilities in line with National EMTCT Programme that seeks to achieve virtual elimination of eMTCT and the UNAIDS fast track initiative
PREFA distinctively serves as a vehicle for behavior change through empowering, equipping, sensitizing as well as mobilizing families, communities, Adolescents, children, key populations and men to respond to the unique challenges that come with HIV/AIDS and related non communicable diseases (NCDs). The Care and treatment is enhanced through strengthening key health systems including; adult and pediatric HIV/AIDS/TB/NCDs care, laboratory services (including CD4, viral load tests, clinical chemistry and hematological testing among other tests), pharmacy logistical support Management Information System (HMIS), and comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention interventions (including PMTCT OptionB+, VMMC) among others.
PREFA contributes to the reduction in the number of annual New HIV infections in Uganda by focusing on intensified HIV Counselling, test and start on treatment services at public health centers in districts of operation. The activities to achieve this include among others;
- Supporting village health teams (VHTs) and Peer educators to sensitize and mobilize target populations to access HIV prevention services through community radios and protecting the goal strategies
- Supporting health workers to implement community HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) outreaches, evening and night time. These are referred and linked to care and treatment services at both public and private health facilities in the district of operation
- Supporting health workers to conduct Couple HCT and risk reduction counselling and training of male peers to sensitize and mobilize other men for HCT through community initiated dialogues
- Working with peer educators of key and most at risk populations ( Adolescents, sex workers ,MSM) to mobilize others to access HCT and related NCDs services
In 2017, PREFA distributed a total of 1,426,277 (93.6% male and 6.4% female) pieces of condoms. This was with support of VHTs, peer educators, male peers, and PLHIV and health workers.
PREFA also intensified HIV Prevention through targeted distribution of IEC materials and a total of 271,101 people (135,630 males and 135,471 females) received and utilized them to increase individual awareness on HIV prevention, family planning (FP), eMTCT, voluntary male medical circumcision (VMMC), and Antenatal care (ANC). PREFA scaled up safe adult male circumcision (SMC) services in supported districts through mobilization and referral to sister and partner organizations including at supported public health facilities. The men also received STI screening (and treatment as required) as well as HIV screening.
All district and health center 1V supported facilities in the districts of operation were supported to provide antiretroviral therapy. PREFA enhanced skills of health workers in determining eligibility for initiation of ART for people living with HIV according to national guidelines and ensured a constant supply of antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) by strengthening supply chain management systems. This included support to Improve laboratories capacity for HIV-related testing and developed an effective referral system for transferring samples and results of viral load monitoring and DNA-PCR tests for early infant diagnosis.
PREFA Supports health facilities to provide services for key populations by equipping healthcare providers with knowledge and skills to integrate and offer routine care for adolescents, sex workers etc (also known as most at-risk populations).
PREFA improved access to and uptake of integrated, acceptable and sustainable sexual and reproductive health services by women of reproductive age in seven districts of Central Uganda. A total of 126 health facilities in seven districts of Wakiso, Nakasongola, Buikwe, Luwero, Masaka, Kalungu and Lwengo were supported with comprehensive Sexual, Reproductive Health and Rights aimed at increasing the utilization of sexual and reproductive health services by women of reproductive age, their partners and adolescents. Interventions focused on promoting gender equality and equity through; school health, community dialogues, and mobilization and sensitization campaigns spearheaded by opinion leaders in the communities.