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The US ambassador to Uganda, His Excellence William Popp made a courtesy visit to Koome Islands on 11th Mar 2024, engaging with health workers at Koome Health Center III, and interacting with girls under the DREAMS program and KP programs on Kimmi Islands.

Makerere University Walter Reed Project (MUWRP) supports the implementation of a comprehensive HIV prevention, care and treatment program on Koome Islands with support from the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR).

Accompanied by the DOD/WRAIR and MUWRP teams led by Dr. Vamsi Vasirredy and Dr. Hannah Kibuuka respectively, H.E William Popp interacted with the teams at Koome HC III, who briefed him about the various innovations aimed at identifying, initiating, and supporting the retention of ART clients, particularly for mobile populations in care. The teams included clinicians, laboratory staff, Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system personnel and community teams.

L-R: Ambassador Pops shakes hands with MUWRP ED, Dr Hannah Kibuuka before set off to Koome and a group photo at Koome HCIII

The PEPFAR Program Manager at MUWRP, Ms Anne Nakirijja noted that the use of META ART, a technology through the Electronic Medical Records (EMR) system, has greatly helped in tracking mobile populations and thus improving retention which is a major challenge in offering HIV services to fisher folks.

“One of the things we have done is the use of technology to track mobile populations in care using the fingerprint”. META ART is a single data base installation of multiple facilities that enables clients to get refills across different facilities. “We currently have 33 facilities on META ART and Koome HC III is one of them. At the islands, while sometimes we may have connectivity challenges, details of each patient that comes into care are obtained through use of a fingerprint that searches for patient information from a central data base. This allows health facilities to provide care for fisher folk from any facility on META ART thus improve retention in care”.