Palliative care for people with HIV in Uganda

Categories: Care.

Mildmay supports 16 districts in the central region of Uganda in comprehensive HIV services delivery as part of an integrated District Health System. To date, Mildmay Uganda supports more than 84,772 people living with HIV, 6,585 (8%) of these are children; 81% are on ART.

The outpatient clinic at Mildmay provides comprehensive HIV prevention, care and treatment services for children, adolescents and adults including provider initiated counselling and testing, HIV care and treatment including antiretroviral therapy, sexual and reproductive health, TB screening, treatment and prevention services, nutritional rehabilitation, counselling, pastoral and social worker services, among others.

Mildmay Uganda runs an inpatient unit for both children and adults who present with severe opportunistic infections such as severe pneumonia, tuberculosis, cryptococcal meningitis among others.

Kisakye youth centre is an adolescent and youth health service. Youth related health programmes including adolescent sexual reproductive health, transition clinic, life skills, behavioural change programmes, counselling and career guidance among others are offered.

An important aspect of Mildmay’s work is to train and empower others to care for people with HIV, with their mission being to model quality and sustainable prevention, care and treatment for HIV and other priority health issues, using a family-centred approach, together with training, education and research.

“Patients suffering from HIV/ AIDS have physical needs for comprehensive symptom management, as well as psychosocial, family, spiritual and end of life care,” said Jane Nakawesi, Mildmay Uganda. “This therefore requires integration of disease-specific and palliative care services. Palliative care is an essential component of the care of people with HIV and needs to be integrated into all services.” 

This article was first published as a case study in the report: Hidden Lives, Hidden Patients, commissioned for World Hospice and Palliative Care Day 2015. The report can be found on the Worldwide Hospice Palliative Care Association website and will be officially launched on 10 October 2015 as part of the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day celebrations. To find out more or to register an event for the Day, please visit the World Hospice and Palliative Care Day webpage