The Mengo Hospital Counselling and Home Care Clinic was established in 1988 by an Irish Doctor from the Church Missionary Society of England to provide HIV Counselling and Testing. The clinic has since grown its capacity to provide and demonstrate Good quality Holistic and Comprehensive outpatient care for patients with HIV. It is currently serving over 6000 patients receiving palliative care and over 3000 receiving ART services.
HIV diagnosis and Counseling is available from Monday to Friday at the HIV clinic. This includes HIV counseling and testing (HCT) for new clients, on-going counseling, Spiritual Counseling, crisis counseling and ART adherence counseling.
Routine counseling and testing(RTC) is also done on wards (from Monday to Friday) andin outreach communities once in very month.
Treatment of Opportunistic Infections
The clinics provide treatment and prevention of opportunistic infections (OI) to all HIV/AIDS patients by providing cotrimoxazole prophylaxis and other OI drugs. The most opportunistic infections include; Tuberculosis, respiratory tract infections, malaria, diarrheas, skin infections, Kaposi Sarcoma, Cryptococci meningitis, Toxoplasmosis, Malaria etc.
The Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) Clinics run daily. The drugs are given free of charge to every patient who is eligible to start.
Pediatric Art Clinic
This runs every Wednesday also called a family clinic. Children below the age of 18 years come to the clinic with their caretakers to receive counseling services, treatment and other supportive care including play therapy.
These are provided daily at the Antenatal clinics. Every pregnant mother is provided RCT as per the MOH policy, and the HIV positive ones get enrolled to access Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT) services, implement early infant diagnosis (EID) using the latest DNA PCR test as early at 6 weeks and treatment for HIV Positive infants.
TB Control, Treatment and Care
TB management has been integrated into HIV Care at the clinic considering it’s significance in HIV/AIDS; and as such, every patient who attends the clinic is assessed for TB as a control measure. The TB clinic also runs from Monday to Thursday. TB community Directly Observed Treatment Short course (DOTS)program is also available for all HIV positive patients who reside in our catchment area (Rubaga Division).
Home Based Care
Home based care aims to help those patients who are chronically bedridden due to ill health or socially destitute and cannot afford hospital inpatient fees. Services offered include nursing care, pain management, Spiritual care, OI care, Bereavement counseling, Psychosocial support, HCT for the immediate family members and infection control. Patients are provided with the minimum health care package kit /palliative care package during these visits. Primary caregivers at home are given basic home based care nursing skills to help them take care of their loved ones.
Provision of Post Exposure Prophylaxis Services
These are provided to clients who have had accidental exposures to potentially infectious material or fluids e.g. health workers through occupational exposure, rape victims, etc that may put them at risk of acquiring HIV. It is provided with in the first 72 hours of exposure to render it effective.
Safe Male Medical Circumcision
This is one of the new innovations aimed at HIV prevention, and is already being implemented at the clinic. Circumcisions are done every Friday at the clinic at a minimum cost to all males of sexual active ages and the young.
Cervical Cancer Screening
Female cervical cancers are highly prevalent among females in Uganda, and more so, among the HIV/AIDS group. Screening is offered to all HIV positive female clients free of charge for early diagnosis of cancer and treatment on every clinic day.
Psychosocial Support Clubs
for people infected and affected with HIV/AIDS.
Psychosocial support groups have been formed to address clients with different issues. The groups include:
Post-test club This targets all adults who test HIV positive. They meet every last Saturday of the month. Members attend and brainstorm ways of how to live positively and improve their quality of lives.
Discordant couples’ club where couples who have different HIV status, i.e. where one is HIV negative and the other is HIV positive meet to discuss ways of how they can be together with the positive partner not infecting the negative partner and the negative partner supporting their positives without separating with them. This is aimed at reducing couple break ups, and also as a measure of HIV infection prevention.
Children’s club 80 children are supported with school fees, uniforms and other scholastic materials.
Adolescent’s club Positive adolescents meet and help each other about how to cope with the challenges of adolescence, living with HIV/AIDS, adherence to treatment, and positive prevention
Men’s access clinic Male’s health service seeking behavior is generally low because of socio-cultural complications and egos/stigma, and yet we live in a male dominated society where much of mother/infant health depends upon the men’s support. This is carried out every Friday at the PMTCT area. It is an innovation aimed at enabling male involvement in PMTCT to help prevent further spread of HIV, and enroll /support their HIV positive partners access care and treatment.