TASO started working in Masaka district in 1988.It was the second TASO Center to be opened after the district realized a very high number of AIDS cases coming from Kasensero landing site. It began its operations in Masaka Referral Hospital led by a group of six volunteers under the leadership of Dr. Sam Kalibala. It started in a small room at the Administrative Block, was moved to the blood bank and finally to the measles ward. The hospital then donated land where the Center stands today at Plot 1 - 9 Kigamba Road. A building was constructed with funds from the Government of Uganda, USAID, Redd Barna and the King Baudouin Foundation and inaugurated in 1997 by US Ambassador Michael Southwick who also donated a Hilux pickup to aid in service delivery.
Masaka is known for neighbouring Rakai District where the first cases of AIDS were identified. It is along the transport corridor to Rwanda and also along the road to the Uganda - Tanzania border of Mutukula. On the way there by road, one has to cross the Equator from the north to the south.
By June 2018, TASO Masaka had, cumulatively (since inception), served and improved the lives of 37,000 clients 25,900 (70% female) and 11,100 (30% male), their families and communities. It operates within a 75 km radius and its catchment area covers the districts of greater Masaka Region, including; Masaka,Lwengo,Bukomansimbi,Lyantonde,Kyotera,Rakai,Sembabule,Kalungu,and Kalangala served by 33 full time staff 14 part time staff, 100 Community AIDS Support Agents, 125 Community Client Led ART Distribution (CCLAD) peer leaders and 25 expert clients who support centre clinics.
TASO Masaka contributes to the TASO vision of a world without HIV and AIDS by providing a comprehensive package through the following services to children, adolescents, youth and adults (as appropriate);
- Psychosocial Services: (adherence counseling, condom/lubricant education and distribution, Gender Based Violence screening, peer counseling, risk reduction counseling, behavior change communication, referral for other psychosocial needs not provided such as economic needs and education)
- Clinical Services: (Nutrition monitoring, adherence measurement, Tuberculosis screening, Opportunistic Infections examinations if any, Laboratory investigation (Viral Load and CD4 count); weight monitoring, Mental Health screening.
Monday and Wednesday - General integrated Clinic at the facility, HIV Testing Services, Psychosocial support and enrolling new clients into care
Tuesday, Thursday and Friday - Facility and community Antiretroviral Drug refills, homecare.
Second Thursday of the month - Adolescent clinic
Third Thursday of the month - eMTCT clinic
It has also been involved in a number of research studies and collaborations such as;
Safer Conception Study and Cryptococcal Study
The Center is headed by a Center Programme Manager who is supported by 4 heads of department which are Psychosocial, medical, Operations & Finance and Monitoring and Evaluation.
The Center has a Center Advisory Committee (CAC) made up of 10 members headed by a Chairperson. This is the Center/Community arm of the TASO Organisational Board of Trustees.
The Center also has Clients' Council made up of 12 members headed by a Chairperson. This is the governing decision making body for all the clients served at the Center whether at the facility or in outreach clinics such as Community Drug Distribution Points.
The Center's major sources of funding include;
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention through Rakai Health Sciences Program (RHSP)
- TASO Masaka Subscriber Members
- Interns both national and international (mainly Ugandan Universities and University of British Columbia (UBC).
Call to membership
You too can make a difference in the lives of people infected and affected by becoming a TASO Subscriber Member. One can become an individual or corporate member and make an annual subscription towards a basket fund. This basket fund was set up to cater for budgeted items that are not covered by the donors.
As a fully registered TASO Subscriber Member you are eligible, among other things, if nominated and elected, to serve on the Center Advisory Committee and eventually the TASO Board of Trustees.
An Annual General Meeting is held every August to give accountability not only to the donors but to the Subscriber Members as well.
Center Programme Manager
Dr. Kakumba Kizito
Mobile:+256 752 774 145