Milly leading an HIV/AIDS education session
Tina Caring Association (TCA) is a Ugandan nonprofit that was founded by three young graduates of Starcross Kin Worldwide’s House of Hope in Kampala, Uganda. The TCA team includes Milly Nakazzi, nurse and midwife, Alex Lwanyaaga, social worker and counselor, and Kasule Kizito, financial and administrative manager. Tina Caring provides AIDS education, HIV testing, and maternal health services to Ugandan villagers. Its purpose is to reduce mother-to-child transmission of HIV rates in the rural Iganga district of Uganda.
Kasule, Milly, and Alex at the TCA office
The Iganga district is isolated, and people in that region have extremely limited access to transportation or medical clinics. Milly and Alex take their motorbike out to the remote villages in this area and begin by meeting the villagers and educating them on HIV/AIDS-prevention and medication. Then, a few days later, TCA administers rapid testing, which gives villagers results within twenty minutes. If anyone tests positive for AIDS, TCA accompanies them clinics and ensures they begin antiretroviral medications as soon as possible.
Kasule on a village visit
TCA has reached out to thousands of villagers and tested hundreds for HIV/AIDS. HIV-positive mothers have been educated in safe delivery and safe breastfeeding of their children. Milly works with HIV-positive mothers through their pregnancies and often delivers the babies herself.
Milly, Kasule, Sister Julie, and Alex
Assisting those who test positive is incredibly important, but the prevention work TCA does has a much more lasting effect on the region.
“During my September 2012 visit to Uganda, I sat in on many education sessions conducted by TCA. Although I could not understand the local dialect, I could follow Milly’s gestures and demonstrations with a baby doll and attached placenta. I was rather amused by one elderly woman’s awkward attempts to unroll a sample condom. Afterward, I commented to our social worker, Alex, who had led the AIDS prevention discussion, that it was a shame to waste their supplies on someone who would not likely need it. He gently corrected me: ‘No, it is extremely important for the old people to be educated and comfortable talking about these things, because they are the ones who will teach the children.’ A few days later, the same old woman showed up at our testing site with her 5-year-old granddaughter. She explained that the child was often sick, and that they had never considered AIDS before because they had never heard of it. The test was positive. Now, that little girl is on medications and doing well. A child’s life was saved for sure.”
Thanks to Tina Caring Association, many children have been born free of AIDS and many others have been provided the medication they require. We are so very proud of these House of Hope graduates who are working hard to make a difference in their community.