The impact of HIV and AIDS care and support interventions on household welfare in Uganda: a case study of Kyanamukaaka and Buwunga Sub-counties, Masaka District
The Human immune deficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic poses a threat to economic growth in many countries through its effects on household savings and labour productivity. There are a number of interventions targeting people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS to improve their household welfare. However little is known about the impact of these interventions. The study aimed at assessing the impact World Vision Masaka Kyanamukaaka Area Development Programme (World vision MKADP) Human immune deficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) care and support interventions on household welfare in Kyanamukaaka and Buwunga sub-counties, Masaka district. Both Kyanamukaaka and Buwunga sub-counties were highly affected by the AIDS scourge due to the fact that they boarder with Rakai district where the first HIV and AIDS cases were reported, and the presence of landing sites along Lake Victoria shores which increased the AIDS scourge due to illicit sex among the fishing community. The scourge claimed productive human resource of the sub-counties resulting into orphan headed families, reduced manpower, hence reduced production levels and the resulting scarcity of food. World vision MKADP, a 15 year program started in 1999 and was being implemented in two sub-counties of Kyanamukaaka and Buwunga by providing support to communities in areas of Education, Health, Agriculture, HIV and AIDS, Interpersonal Psychotherapy for Groups (IPT-G), care and support for orphans and other vulnerable children (OVC) among others. The study focused on the impact agriculture support, psychosocial support and education support on improvement of household welfare in Kyanamukaaka and Buwunga sub-counties. The findings of the study showed that World vision MKADP interventions through agriculture project, psychosocial and education support has improved household welfare for people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in Kyanamukaaka and Buwunga sub-counties. The agriculture project support led to increased productivity hence increased household incomes, food security and improved nutrition. Psychosocial support reduced depression levels among those formerly depressed leading to increased labor productivity. The education support to OVC led to increased school enrollment and education completion. As a result the OVC have got employment and are able to cater for their needs and those of other household members hence improved household welfare. The study recommended that World vision should continue with the agriculture project support through provision of improved crop and animal breeds backed by trainings which have led to increased household incomes, food security and improved nutrition for people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS hence improvement in their household welfare. Other Non governmental organizations (NGOs) and government should adopt it and avoid cash support/benefits which can easily be misallocated. The study further recommended that World vision should continue with assessing the level of depression and where necessary provide psychosocial support before undertaking any developmental interventions since it was discovered from the study that a large percentage of people who were suffering from depression as a result of HIV and AIDS in Kyanamukaaka and Buwunga sub-counties had their productivity affected until World vision MKADP intervened with psychosocial support. Other NGOs and the government should adopt the same practice. Last but not least, Support to OVC to pursue skills training was also recommended since it had a positive impact on increased school enrollment and education completion. Most OVC who completed skills training were employed unlike those who continued with formal education where very few had graduated. World vision MKADP, the government and other NGOs working in Kyanamukaaka and Buwunga sub-counties should put more emphasis on skills training as less costs are involved yet OVC graduate with practical skills.