What you need to know:
- In an interview with this publication on Saturday Dr Andrew Kambugu, the executive director IDI, confirmed the development, saying some RHSP staff would be retained during the transition period.
The Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) has taken over all HIV/Aids related prorgammes which were formerly being implemented by Rakai Health Sciences Programme (RHSP), this publication has established.
This comes after the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) didn't renew the RHSP grant in the area of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and treatment (Comprehensive HIV/AIDS care services). CDC has been bankrolling RHSP activities for many years.
In an interview with this publication on Saturday Dr Andrew Kambugu, the executive director IDI, confirmed the development, saying some RHSP staff would be retained during the transition period.
“During this transition, we are going to retain some staff of RHSP for some period as arrangements are made to recruit new ones,” he said
This publication also learnt that some RHSP employees decided to quit as early as January after receiving information that they would not get CDC funding.
Mr Joseph Kagaayi, the former RHSP executive director resigned in June 2023 and was replaced by Dr Godfrey Kigozi.
Dr Kambugu revealed that during the first year, CDC will give them $22m (about Shs82.9billion) to run their programmes.
In a circular dated September 1, 2023, RHSP notified all the 12 beneficiary districts that the organisation will close its HIV/AIDS project activities with effect from September 30.
“…this therefore means that RHSP shall not be in position to support anymore HIV/Aids project activities after the above (September 30) expiry date,” Dr Denis Bbaale Sekavuga, the head of health systems strengthening at RHSP, said
“RHSP will also not be held responsible for any liabilities that may arise,” he added, advising districts with unresolved liabilities related to the work previously supported by RHSP to report them to IDI .
RHSP, which was formerly Rakai Project, started in 1987 at the peak of the HIV/AIDS scourge. The organisation played a pivotal role in doing research on HIV/AIDS, treatment and caring for orphans. It later expanded its network covering the entire Masaka sub region and parts of Mpigi, Butambala and Gomba.
Masaka sub region, where the first HIV case in Uganda was identified in 1982, has consistently had the highest HIV burden in the country according to data from three consecutive national HIV/AIDS surveys; at 10.6 percent in 2011, 8.0 percent in 2016 and 8.1 percent prevalence in 2020.