- Training for 23 community counsellors, doing group and individual trauma counselling
- Training for five counsellors supporting an HIV clinic
- Trauma counselling for more than 30,000 people in a remote, post-conflict region
The levels of HIV in post-conflict northern Uganda were among the highest in East Africa. The illness was accompanied by stigma, with many HIV+ people too ashamed to attend the health centre to be tested or to receive treatment. In 2012, all 23 of PCCO’s community counsellors and staff received training on HIV/AIDS from the local health centre nurses. In addition, our pro bono psychotherapists trained five community counsellors in HIV counselling so that they could counsel people before and after HIV testing. Following the training, the five trained counsellors worked at the HIV Clinic at Patongo’s Health Centre and provided an invaluable service to the team there. In 2016 we replicated this programme in another area of the same district. The HIV intervention encouraged many more people to be open about their HIV status and to seek treatment, so much so that the District Health Officer recommended that we take the service to other areas. The health centre staff reported that they wouldn’t be able to complete their work without help of PCCO’s HIV counsellors. This is an area of work that we would like to continue, and will replicate in more areas if we are successful in securing funding.