Thursday, April 05, 2007

Mark at Reachout

Mbuya Reachout is an exciting and innovative community HIV programme providing medical and social support to 2400 HIV positive clients and their families in a suburb of Kampala. Reachout also runs a training programme for health workers working in the field of HIV.

Reachout’s work is rooted in the community and in particular in the community of people living with HIV / AIDS. The programme models principles of participation and the importance of providing social and psychological support as well as high quality health care. Continuing medical education, case discussions and positive attention to team working with the support of community volunteers are priorities.

The organisation has grown rapidly since start up in 2000 and now employs 230, many of whom are HIV positive. There is weakness in middle management and there is a lack of robustness in its accounting, procurement and stock keeping systems. Dr Stella is instituting a process of organisational review and restructuring over the coming months.

My work plan over the remaining few months will include:

  1. Providing medical support to the outpatient clinic and liaising with Hope Ward, IHK which provides us with inpatient facilities.
  2. Teaching the trainees on the HIV care programme.
  3. Conducting a survey of Reachout clients. This will yield information about family and household structure, the spread of access to Reachout’s social care programme, the prevalence of use of mosquito nets and establish any history of recent household contact with TB.
  4. Working with the pharmacy and stores to develop robust record keeping and ordering systems. to avoid out stocking and reduce vulnerability to theft.
  5. Assisting Reachout in improving its tuberculosis diagnostic and treatment capabilities. Half our clients will have TB at some point. Half of those who die will die from TB. In particular we should; improve clinicians’ adherence to treatment algorithms, improve X-ray interpreting skills, increase the yield from microscopy, explore the use of sputum culture, consider isoniazid prophylaxis, determine the prevalence of MDR TB.
  6. Assisting Reachout in improving its customer care. Attitudes to customers in Uganda as a whole are negative. Patients are expected to wait for many hours and to make unnecessary repeat visits because of system inefficiencies.

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