TASO Rukungiri

Background

TASO Rukungiri is one of the eleven(11) service Centres of Excellence (CoE) of The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO). TASO was founded in 1987 by Dr Noerine Kaleeba and 15 other colleagues affected by HIV/AIDS.

Hon Major Gen Jim Muhwezi with support from Rukungiri local government leaders requested for establishment of TASO Rukungiri which was opened in August 2004, and housed in former education block. Since its launch in the district, TASO Rukungiri has changed the face HIV/AIDS pandemic in communities of Rukungiri, Kanungu, Mitooma, Bushenyi and Ntungamo districts.

TASO Rukungiri shifted after construction of its new premises next to Rukungiri Health Centre IV (commonly known as Rwamahwa) located about 600 meters away from Rukungiri Municipality along Ishaka road in Eastern division. The building was officially opened by President of the Republic of Uganda, H.E. Gen YoweriKaguta Museveni on 6th October 2006.

Looking at client challenges, Management decided to extend the services by opening up outreaches, the first outreach was Kihihi in 2004 followed by Bugangari then Kisiizi and later Mitooma. Clients received at the time were very sick with all the symptoms of AIDS, skin rashes, oral-oesophageal fungal infections, diarrhoea, cryptococcal meningitis, tuberculosis and many were bedridden.

To date TASO Rukungiri is proud of many achievements most especially the spiritual, psychosocial, economical and medical support given to over 15,000 people living with HIV/AIDS (PLHIV) and over 60,000 of their family members. The centre has been able to prolong lives of over 8,000 PLHIV through provision of ARVs, and other social and economic strengthening projects which have boosted their household incomes.

The centre has close to 2,000 babies that have been saved through Prevention of Mother To Child Transmission (PMTCT). Since 2010, TASO Rukungiri has supported 1,200 OVC through provision of scholastic materials, Uniforms, sanitary towels, school dues and start-up kits/tools for Vocational and apprenticeship programs.

Services Offered

The center provides a range of services including;

HIV prevention services which include:

  • Free HIV Testing and counseling
  • Promoting safer sexual behaviors through sensitizations, drama shows, behavioral change campaigns, Radio talk shows and mass media sensitizations.
  • Promoting correct and consistent use of condoms
  • Providing Post Exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for accidental exposures to HIV infection
  • Providing PMTCT services (option B+) to HIV positive mothers
  • Providing free Safe Male Circumcision for all males above 12 years

Care and treatment services which include

  • Increasing access to ARV drugs through enrolling all eligible HIV positive clients on ART
  • Treatment of any opportunistic infections as a result of HIV infection and disease
  • Intensively screening , identifying TB cases and treating them immediately
  • Provision of Cervical cancer screening service and treating all infected
  • Provision of modern Family Planning devices to prevent unwanted pregnancies
  • Providing specialized peadiatric and adolescent HIV care and treatment

Psychosocial and spiritual services

  • Counseling PLHIV to cope with the HIV positive diagnosis (not living in denial)
  • Supporting PLHIV to disclose their sero status to spouse, children and other key people for continued social support
  • Equipping PLHIV with facts and knowledge on how to prevent reinfection and spreading HIV virus to others (protection)
  • Equipping PLHIV with knowledge on how to live positively with the virus and remain productive in the community
  • Encouraging PLHIV to join peer support groups for continued support and experience sharing

Social support and Protection services which include

  • Providing Psychosocial support to family members and caretakers to strengthen community support to PLHIV
  • Providing education support to Orphaned and Vulnerable Children (OVC)
  • Providing vocational and apprenticeship support to out of school youths
  • Training clients into sustainable livelihood initiatives especially food security
  • Equipping clients with income generating and entrepreneur skills
  • Linking clients to government programs like NAADS, SACCO, Youth funds, etc.
  • Sensitizing clients about social and child protection and linkage to legal aid

Advocacy and partnership

The Advocacy and partnership role at TASO Rukungiri is championed by the Centre Manager with support from other staff depending on the issue at hand. Its main aim is;

“To contribute to the process of informing and influencing national and global HIV/AIDS response through advocacy, resource mobilisation, strategic partnership and empowerment of PLHIV, capacity building of governance structures, gender mainstreaming, documentation and positive publicity”.

Specific advocacy areas include;

  • Advocating for PLHIV to access services that will improve their health, spiritual, social and economic wellbeing in the society
  • Advocating for non-discriminatory practices in communities to prevent stigma, discrimination and gender inequalities
  • Raising awareness and promoting rights of PLHIV and families affected by HIV infection and disease
  • Mobilizing partners and local persons to rally behind the fight against HIV (not fighting people with HIV)
  • Locally mobilize resources to facilitate TASO Services and reaching the vulnerable
  • Creating a broader TASO membership base and visibility of TASO services especially to hard to reach communities.

We have made strong partnerships with and greatly indebted to the following;

  • Rukungiri District Local government
  • Rukungiri Municipal council and division leadership
  • Rukungiri District Network for people living with HIV (RUDNET)
  • Rukungiri Gender and Development Association (RUGADA)
  • Reproductive Health Uganda (RHU)
  • Radio Rukungiri & Rukungiri INN
  • Centenary Bank, Rukungiri Branch
  • KaloriLwangaNyakibaale Hospital
  • Kisiizi Hospital
  • All Health centers in Rukungiri District
  • Compassion Uganda
  • Rotary Club, Rukungiri Municipal
  • Rotary Club, Kihiihi
  • Religious institutions in Rukungiri
  • CARITAS Kabale
  • North KigeziDiocess
  • Mosaic Vision Ministries
  • Bridge of Hope ministries
  • Positive Men’s Union (POMU) Rukungiri Branch
  • MAMA’s club Rukungiri branch
  • RUN Dental, Kampala
  • Rukungiri Diary Farmer’s Association

It’s through these strong partnerships and collaborations that we have been able to deliver services to our clients, reaching them in their communities, sensitising about HIV/AIDS and greatly impacting on persons infected and affected by HIV

Health System strengthening

  • Supporting public Health units to start HIV Clinics (where they don’t exist)
  • Supporting public Health units to strengthen HIV care
  • Supporting public health units in supply chain management to avoid stock outs
  • Supporting public health units to get accredited for ART
  • Supporting public health units to build human capacity for Health through training and mentorship
  • Supporting public health unit to report accurately, consistently and timely

Weeky Activity Schedule

Week Day              Activity Done                                         
Monday and Tuesday  GENERAL CLINICS, sensitisation
Wednesday  Community work, CDDP, sensitisation
Thursday PMTCT CLINIC, Adolescent clinics, HSS
Friday Home visits, CDDPS, HBHCT, meetings
 Saturday and Sunday      Community Sensitisation/ Drama and HCT

We hold Weekly Briefs, Staff meetings, CPEs, Dept meetings, once every week on Fridays

Contact Person:

Centre Manager(Ag.)

Ms. Agnes Kateeba
TASO Rukungiri
P.O. Box 350, Rukungiri  
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tel:     256 0486 442 610
Mobile: +256 752 774 141
             +256 702 448 511