Two staff members attended a one-week civil society advocacy training in prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission (PMTCT), boosting HEPS-Uganda’s capacity to effectively analyze barriers to service delivery; work with the media, other advocates, and policy makers; and advocate for changes in policy and programming.
Mr Aaron Muhinda, Assistance Programme Officer Health Policy Advocacy, and Mr Richard Hasunira, then Technical Advisor Research and Communication, attended the meeting between 18-25 April 2009, in Marrakech, Morocco.
The meeting was organized for HIV/AIDS civil society advocates in countries affected by HIV/AIDS. It was organized by the Treatment Monitoring and Advocacy Project (TMAP) of the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition (ITPC), and hosted by the Association de Lutte Contre le Sida (ALCS), a Moroccan HIV/AIDS advocacy organization.
The training was a follow-up of the Missing the Target survey that assessed access to PMTCT services by HIV-positive women and children in Uganda, Argentina, Cambodia, Moldova, Morocco, Zimbabwe. HEPS-Uganda conducted the survey in Uganda. The report was launched later in May.
The training, during which the HEPS-Uganda presented the findings from Uganda, was also meant to feed into a planned advocacy campaign coordinated by ITPC.
The meeting discussed the survey findings from each of the participating countries and identified the emerging issues, developed objectives of the advocacy campaign, and drafted advocacy plans in country and regional groupings, among other things.
The poor understanding of infant feeding guidelines among HIV-Positive mothers and health workers was identified as the outstanding issue for advocacy in Uganda.