The Counseling and Home care department, also called the HIV clinic, started in 1988 with support from an Irish Doctor, Dr, Brown Lee (RIP.)
- In 1989, 69 clients were officially registered in care, however the services and knowledge on HIV care and treatment were limited. There was no space and skilled manpower.
- In 1994, at the peak of the epidemic, when about 18% of the Ugandan population was infected with HIV and a significant number of deaths were as a result of AIDS, we noted a growing number of clients who were becoming terminally ill and bedridden from AIDS, the clinic implemented the home care and visitation program with support from the TEAR fund.
- In 1994, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) started training counselors in HIV care.
- From 1996 to 2000 with support from International Care and Relief (ICR), the food aid project started. Through this project, Mengo hospital reached out to HIV/AIDS clients with food rations comprising of beans, maize flour, rice, and cooking oil.
- In 1997, we noted a growing number of HIV infected children, but there were no policies to test children and no guidelines to treat children, a number of children were also orphaned due to AIDS! With support from the Grant Charitable Trust UK, the Saturday club to support HIV infected children began.
- In 1998, through the Drug Access Initiative, the hospital was accredited to start giving Anti-Retroviral therapy; however, the medicines were not free.
- In 1998, we noted a growing need to treat Tuberculosis, little did we know that the two diseases were related, we opened the chest clinic to address TB needs at the hospital.
- In 2007 – to date, the comprehensive HIV chronic care package and preventive strategies to clients in Kampala District began with support from Presidents Emergency plan for AIDs relief (PEPFAR) in Africa and USAID through the Inter religious council of Uganda, (IRCU) and now the Uganda Private Health Support program (UPHS)
- In 2009, the Orange sweet potatoes project began with funding from MCC and technical assistance obtained from Harvest Plus/ the international sweet potato center.
- The clinic continued to operate in a four roomed facility under Mpereza theatre which had been remodeled by the hospital management in 1988 to address the HIV /AIDS needs at the hospital but we could not scale up services in this four roomed facility.
- In 2007, with support from Mennonite Central Committee (MCC), we were able to renovate an old dilapidated hospital laundry into the present HIV clinic which has 4 doctors’ rooms, a tea room, IT Records reception, pharmacy emergency room, side laboratory, counseling rooms and a waiting area.
- In 2014, more space was added to the existing clinic to address TB treatment, a laboratory and more counseling rooms.
- In 2015 we started offering Viral load testing services
Today the HIV /AIDS clinical services at the clinic include,
- A daily medical Out-patient clinic to an average of 180 clients per day
- Home based care to bedridden and terminally ill patients on one Friday a week.
- Management of Opportunistic Infections including Tuberculosis ,
- Provision of Anti Retro Viral Therapy,
- Counseling which includes Hospital based Routine HIV Counseling and testing (RCT) on all hospital wards
- Spiritual counseling,
- Elimination Prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV(EMTCT),
- Post Exposure prophylaxis and health education.
- CD4 testing and Viral load testing
- Safe Male circumcision and condom distribution
- Screening, diagnosis and treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) including partner notification.
- Screening for cancer of the cervix and cryotherapy services.
- Family planning services
- Nutritional support to malnourished HIV infected children
The non-clinical palliative care services include;
- Psychosocial support clubs such as the posttest clubs for HIV infected children and Adolescents
- Discordant couples club
- Posttest clubs
- HIV testing outreaches
- Family support groups
Dr. Edith Namulema Program Manager Mengo Hospital HIV/ AIDS Counselling and Home Care Department Sir Albert Cook Road P.O. BOX 7161 Kampala Tel: 0414-270418 Mob: 0754-460792