Kampala The Ministry of Health flagged off field teams to conduct the second Uganda Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (UPHIA) survey to determine the magnitude of the HIV burden and the impact of current strategies taking place to curb this epidemic.
This survey will build on the 1st UPHIA survey conducted in 2016 and will provide information to measure the country's progress towards the global UNAIDS and the national HIV epidemic control targets. Additionally, the survey will provide empirical up-to-date data on the magnitude and dynamics of HIV/AIDS and the impact of control programmes in order to inform strategic planning of future HIV/AIDS services.
While commissioning the teams, the Minister of Health, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng noted, For the first time, the Population-based HIV Impact Assessment surveys are providing HIV program Impact assessment indicators such as HIV incidence and Viral Load Suppression (VLS) which are the more sensitive markers of the progress towards epidemic control.
She urged the field workers, who underwent a rigorous two months training to work fast and exhibit commitment while undertaking the data collection exercise. We want you to be cognizant of the fact that you are doing this for the health of the over 45 million Ugandans Dr Aceng said.
Uganda has committed to achieving the UNAIDS 90-90-90 targets by 2020, as part of the Fast Track Strategy for ending AIDS by 2030. This survey will provide valid estimates of a range of HIV indicators for the country. This data will also inform annual budget planning processes, planning for the next round of the Global Fund and subsequent PEPFAR Country Operational Plans.
The World Health Organization Country Representative, Dr Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam said As we flag off the field data collection for yet another round of UPHIA, we expect that the field teams will ensure quality and timely data collection that will inform the National HIV/AIDS response.
Data is only useful when put to appropriate use for decision making and we
hope that the 2020 UPHIA will guide the country direction towards epidemic
control Dr Yonas added.
The Deputy Chief of Mission of USA in Uganda, Christopher Krafft lauded the Government of Uganda in undertaking this survey and committed the support of the US Government in ending the HIV epidemic in Uganda.
The UPHIA survey will involve about 10,000 randomly selected households across the country targeting persons aged 15 years and above. Persons aged 15-17 years will require a parent or guardian to provide consent in order to take part in the survey.
Uganda has borne disproportionate burdens of HIV and AIDS over the last 4 decades. The country's efforts in combating this epidemic has registered considerable progress in bringing down the HIV prevalence rate from a peak of 18% in the 90s to the current 6%. New infections have declined from 100,000 in 2010 to 53,000 now, and AIDS related death have declined from 60,000 in 2010 to 23,000.
The survey is conducted by the Government of Uganda with support from ICAP- University of Columbia, Centers for Disease Control/PEPFAR,
World Health Organization (WHO), UNAIDS, Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) and the Uganda AIDS Commission.
Source: Ministry of Health