In 2011 KIDA was granted a license to operate a general hospital which opened in August of that year. Prior to 2011, KIDA’s medical programs took place as an outreach AIDS clinic, supervised by Dr. Moses Walakira of the HIV/AIDS center at Virika Hospital in Fort Portal. Once the hospital was built and licensed this was no longer necessary since KIDA Hospital could provide HIV care on its own.
KIDA Hospital now provides rural people with general inpatient and outpatient medical care for the first time right in their community. It was previously very difficult for these rural people to access care, since the nearest hospital in Fort Portal is an hour away by vehicle, many traveling by boda boda (motorcycle). In 2019 the hospital expanded by 16 beds to a total of 46 beds when the new Children’s Ward was dedicated and opened. Over 4700 outpatients are seen annually at the hospital.
The hospital has a full theatre (operating room) with an anesthesia machine averaging over 200 surgeries a year about half being cesarian sections. In 2019, 815 of the 2300 admissions were pediatric. Over 400 children are born there annually and those born HIV+ (approximately 5%) are immediately linked to care. In 2019, over 11,000 vaccinations were given through post-natal care both at the hospital and in local villages.
Current physician in charge is Dr. Brian Kiiza
From it’s earliest days, KIDA confronted the AIDs epidemic in this rural part of Uganda. Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), now called HIV Counseling and Testing, is currently a routine service, offered daily. Since VCT started in 2004, over 15,000 rural villagers have been tested through KIDA. An average of 160 people per month seek testing. KIDA provides counseling and ARV (anti-retroviral) medications to those that test positive with a current caseload of over 500 people. 95% of the current clients have supressed their viral load due to the support of the clinic.
KIDA continues to provide special support to people living with HIV and AIDS. Most of those who test positive choose to register as clients and reveal their status, an important first step toward “positive living.” Besides ongoing medical treatment and counseling at the clinic, they attend educational workshops and have a trained community home visitor assigned to them to monitor their health and general well being.
Orphan Education (OVC)
Orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) have a safe haven at KIDA. The OVC program currently has over 100 orphans that are either infected with or affected by HIV/ AIDs in their family. KIDA OVC program support includes supplies for school, school fees, psychological support and basic needs for the family. Over 300 have gone through the program. Many have become professionals in teaching, nursing and administration while others are employed at KIDA hospital as nurses. The pillar of the program is Mrs. Majorie Musobozi (wife of Executive Director Ezra Musobozi) who selflessly co-ordinates this program.
Her dedicated service sees her go the extra mile to visit these children in their schools and homes. She identifies the children’s needs, purchases all the supplies and goes to schools to make sure the school fees are paid and children are studying and attending school. Her parental love enables her give psychological support to those that need it. Marjorie is intimately acquainted with all the children and their families as well as each child she sees daily on the road. Many children have been under KIDA’s care since 2006.
KIDA operates the only SACCO (Savings and Credit Cooperative) in Uganda that targets the vulnerable AIDS affected population. Its goal is to empower the vulnerable, regardless of their health status, religion, tribe or political affliation. Starting in 2007 with 58 members has grown to 2602 members and is now open to non-HIV clients. In 2019 SACCO gave out 899,148,600sh (nearly $250,000) in loans.
Those who join KIDA’s SACCO open a savings account first and receive training in saving and borrowing. They are required to save a small amount regularly.
A member can apply for a loan not more than three times the value of that member’s savings balance. There are application requirements and repayment requirements.
Mr.Fortunate Kusemererwa is KIDA’s full-time microfinance manager.He has a diploma in Accounting and finance.
KIDA’s SACCO elects a Board of Directors and holds an annual general meeting. The money belongs to the members. A committee approves loans.
Interest on loans is 2% a month, much less than other SACCO’s in Uganda. There is no profit-making goal, rather service and empowering the vulnerable. 97% of borrowers pay back on time. 3% are late but eventually repay.
Currently there are 2584 members and it is now self-sustaining. The Sacco has grown to the extent of opening another branch in Rwankenzi,a small town located approximately 19km away from KIDA SACCO main office. This will save on the transport costs that would be incured on travel. The sacco has also acquired an MTN mobile money line to help clients send money direct to the sacco account. SACCO has grown so large that they have acquired land near the hospital to create their own building.
In 2005, KIDA started a vocational program to give clients and the local community access to a means of supporting themselves. Many of the students have been unable to complete school due to the fees needed. This program gives them a way to support themselves and their families. It offers a variety of skills including bricklaying, and concrete skills, tailoring, carpentry and hair salon.
Over 230 students have graduated from the vocational program with hands on skills that will support the community for as long as they live. Twice a year in January and June a new group of students join the others. The knowledge and skill imparted to the students by trained staff is a great step toward self-sustaining lifestyles.
Community Health Insurance (KCHIP)
One of the challenges of a rural community is an inability to afford medical care. KIDA recognized this challenge and created a health insurance program. KIDA had 1945 members in their Health Insurance Program – 266 families and 19 village groups. The program is similar to the SACCO program in that it is run in villages with the members monitoring one another to insure payment.
Most of the people who live in the rural foothills of the Ruwenzori Mountains in Uganda are poor and uneducated. Without some kind of community outreach, many do not have information about health and safety. In 2000 a traveling drama group was formed. The drama/dance troupe rehearses twice weekly, some are HIV positive.
Over the years, this group has reached semi-professional status and is doing an effective job of communicating behavior change messages. They use music, dance, and drama coupled with didactic teaching. They take their show out into three rural subcounty communities around Fort Portal as well as schools, trading centers, churches and mosques. Hundreds of people flock to these shows as soon as the drumming, music and dancing begin.