On March 3, AFFORD partners and stakeholders joined USAID and the Ugandan Ministry of Health to celebrate the successful conclusion of the first phase of the AFFORD Health Marketing Initiative.
In addition to creating UHMG – an indigenous organization – and building the capacity of UHMG staff to take over the implementation of the AFFORD project interventions, the AFFORD project also increased accessibility, availability and affordability of health care products and services for HIV AIDS, malaria, family planning and child health, and enhanced knowledge and correct use of the products and services through its innovative behavior change communication campaigns during its first phase.
AFFORD has been known throughout its 5-year tenure to complement the efforts of the Ministry of Health by enhancing its capacity and delivering health care products and services through the private sector.
These accomplishments were honored at the March 3 event, which also included an exhibition by AFFORD and other private sector partners and UHMG. AFFORD’s method of educating through entertainment was highlighted through a youth dance group performance that presented an exceptional illustration of “Get off the Sexual Network”, the AFFORD/UHMG campaign that seeks to reduce multiple and concurrent partnerships and prevent HIV.
The over 200 participants at the celebration included Hon. Dr. Richard Nduhura, Minister of State for General Duties, the guest of honor at the event; Dr. Kenya Mugisha, Ag. Director of Health Services at the Ministry of Health; Bruce McFarland, USAID Contracting Officer; and William Glass, Director of Strategic Communication Programs at CCP.
In his opening remarks, Romano Fernandes, AFFORD’s Chief of Party, underscored the tremendous contribution made by public-private partnerships to AFFORD’s work. William Glass presented research findings that demonstrated the importance of evidence based programming, a key ingredient to AFFORD’s success. In discussing the future for AFFORD and UHMG, Emily Katarikawe, UHMG Managing Director, explained that it will be critical to work in rural areas, upgrade the skills of private for-profit providers, and ensure that UHMG remains honest, transparent and sustainable.
The event included a screening of the AFFORD documentary film highlighting the range of work taken on by AFFORD over the past five years. View the film.
AFFORD’s many accomplishments can be attributed to strong commitment and support from USAID, the Ugandan Ministry of Health and the dynamic and cohesive partnership that backed the project. Indeed, Bruce McFarland, USAID Contracting Officer, noted that USAID would gladly collaborate and support initiatives like AFFORD in the future, and Hon. Dr. Richard Nduhura expressed appreciation for the work AFFORD has done in addressing health issues in Uganda, saying “AFFORD has contributed towards [the achievement of ] Millennium goals 4, 5 and 6.”
Led by the Center for Communication Programs, the AFFORD consortium included Futures Group International, Malaria Consortium, Communication for Development Foundation of Uganda, PULSE Communication and Aclaim Africa Ltd.
The second phase of the project is currently underway. From 2011 to 2013, the primary goal of AFFORD will be to strengthen the capacity within UHMG to become a self reliant organisation. As the sole implementing partner, UHMG will receive strategic guidance from CCP with the support of USAID funding.
View more photos of the event.
View the AFFORD documentary film.
Learn more about the AFFORD Health Marketing Initiative.