This week I returned from my 3-month internship in Uganda with WellShare International. In WellShare's rural field offices I worked with two USAID funded programs, one focusing on providing care and support to orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) and people living with HIV/AIDS (PHA) and the other focusing on child spacing. I was involved in training community caregivers to provide home-based care and support to members of the community that are unable to access care in clinics or hospitals.
In the attached picture I am with my WellShare Uganda co-worker Lilian Najjuka who is helping demonstrate how to use a Middle Upper Arm Circumference tape (MUAC tape) to test for malnutrition. She was one of the members of the training team.
One of the projects I worked on was developing an HIV/AIDS referral directory to distribute to community members, community caregivers, public and private clinics, and district partners. The referral directory documented organizations throughout the district providing health and support services to PHA. I also worked on developing a legal and human rights behavioral change campaign in partnership with the district government.
This campaign focused on educating PHA and OVC on their rights, teaching the broader community how to support these vulnerable members of society, and educating teachers on how to support OVC in the classroom.
In terms of family planning, I helped coordinate and organize outreaches with district nurses to rural villages in central Uganda. We educated men and women on their family planning options and tried to decrease the stigma around using child spacing methods. Also, by administering long-acting methods directly in the community at these outreaches, we decreased the barriers that small rural villages face when trying to access health services.
Kaela Glass, Communications and Development Intern, WellShare International
MPP/MSW Candidate University of Minnesota