It was fan and joy celebrating World AIDS Day with the fishing folks at Kasenyi landing site. Every first day of December, for Family Medical Point all roads lead to Kasenyi and this year it was yet another of such days.
One of the socially most active landing sites on Lake Victoria shores, Kasenyi is home to an estimate 1,000 women and young girls engaged in activities of commercial sex. Several of these are young people who have dropped out school and find the lake with more accessible employment opportunities.
Fishing communities have also been identified as among the highest-risk groups for HIV infection in Uganda with high overall rates of HIV/AIDS prevalence.
According to a report; “HIV/AIDS in fishing communities, challenges to delivering antiretroviral therapy to vulnerable groups”, vulnerability to HIV/AIDS stems from, the time fishers and fish traders spend away from home, their access to cash income, their demographic profile and hyper-masculinity in fishermen.
The subordinate economic and social position of women in many fishing communities makes them too even more vulnerable to infection.
“Kasenyi is at the centre of our activities and interventions to end the infections among sexually active women in fishing communities and particularly gender based violence associated with access and provision of family planning services,” Family Medical Point Team Leader, Ms Amuge Ruth said.
Family Medical Point proposes to run a behaviour change communication campaign, educating and empowering the women to know there is recourse for acts of violence and transform attitudes of men towards women of reproductive age accessing family planning.
The “closing the gap” grant in which Family Medical Point currently receives supplies of family planning commodities is also responding to the demand for family planning arising from the campaign.
Implementation of the program will leverage on behaviour change communication campaign, utilizing mass and social media, and Peer Educators leading on the ground engagements.
What we envisage
Our interventions aim to enhance accessibility of sexual reproductive health services to all women and young people in hard to reach communities, particularly fishing folks and slum areas. Family Medical Point, working with our partners Population Matters will work towards coming up with innovative ways to deliver family planning services to communities below the poverty line.