KIDA was granted a license to operate a general hospital in 2011 and opened KIDA Hospital on August 2. 2011. Physician in charge is Dr. Charles Irumba. KIDA also hired a hospital administrator Mrs. Aidah Ninkusiima and formed a Hospital Management Board that has some members in common with KIDA’s Board of Directors.
(Prior to 2011, KIDA’s medical programs took place as an outreach AIDS clinic, supervised by Dr. Moses Walakira of the HIV/AIDS center at Virika Hospital in Fort Portal. This is no longer necessary since KIDA Hospital is a licensed health center and can provide HIV care on its own.)
KIDA Hospital now provides rural people with general inpatient and outpatient medical care for the first time right in their community. It was previously very difficult for these rural people to access care, since the nearest hospital in Fort Portal is an hour away by vehicle.
Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT), now called HIV Couseling and Testing, is currently a routine service, offered daily. Since VCT started in 2004, over 15,000 rural villagers have learned their HIV status at KIDA. Since the hospital opened a year ago, an average of 160 people per month seek testing. Close to 300 have tested positive to date. They have all been started on cotrimoxazole preventive therapy (to protect them against opportunistic infections). As of June, 2012, 44 HIV positive clients were initiated on antiretroviral therapy.
KIDA continues to provide special support to people living with HIV and AIDS. Most of those who test positive choose to register as clients and reveal their status, an important first step toward “positive living.” Besides ongoing medical treatment and counseling at the clinic, they attend educational workshops and have a trained community home visitor assigned to them.