Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum (UYAHF), a youth serving, health and human rights organization that seeks to advance and promote quality and improved health and well-being of young people has in partnership with Monitoring Evaluation Technical Support (METS) with support from Centre for Disease Control and prevention (CDC) organized held a 2-day residential orientation workshop on the Every Hour Matter Campaign.
The workshop which took place at Nile Resort Hotel Namanve from 4th – 5th May 2022 brought together different CDC and PEPFAR supported partners for a two-day national campaign on Every hour Matters Campaign.
The workshop was aimed at Increasing awareness by the CDC partners on the need of post rape care services, enhancing knowledge of CDC partners on EHM campaign, the content and applicability EHM Youth Engagement Toolkit and the Theory of Change for the planned project and increasing involvement of the CDC partners in the mapping process and roll out of the EHM campaign.
Other reasons to hold the workshop were to Increase involvement of the partners in the EHM targeted sub-regions and districts and Commitment from partners to support the EHM campaign activities in their Sub-regions.
Rose Apondi from CDC noted that the every hour matters campaign (EHM) is a preventive tool adding that the critical things to be considered while implementing the campaign include; Speed, Scale and Quality.
“It is not all about numbers much as we need numbers, but we are most interested in impact.” said Apondi.
Speaking to participants, the deputy Executive director, Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum, Joyce Nakato revealed that millions of people including several children and adolescents in the country are exposed to sexual violence.
“Sadly, the data also shows that many survivors do not report their assault, and even fewer receive the services they need. Despite high rates of rape, many people are unaware that: Survivors have 72 hours to receive post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) that can prevent HIV and Female survivors have 120 hours to receive emergency contraception (EC) to prevent pregnancy. Depending on the circumstances, rapid treatment for trauma may also prevent other short and long-term health consequences”, noted Nakato said.
According to the Violence Against Children Surveys (VACS), led by CDC as part of the Together for Girls partnership, globally, around 25% of girls’ first sexual intercourse was physically forced or coerced, and the majority of cases happened before the age of 16.
On his part, the project coordinator of the Every Hour Matters campaign Jarc Tusiime informed the participants that the Every Hour Matters Campaign (EHM) is a global advocacy campaign to raise awareness and spark action around the critical need for post-rape care.
Tusiime added that the overall objective of the campaign is to increase awareness of the critical importance of quickly accessing post-rape care and urges national, and community leaders to improve information about and access to comprehensive services, including: Life-saving post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) to prevent HIV within 72 hours, Emergency contraception to prevent an unwanted pregnancy within 120 hours and Psychosocial and mental health support.
“This campaign amplifies a critical but little-known message: ‘Every Hour Matters’ for survivors of sexual violence in accessing care.” Tusiime said.
The organizers of the workshop says the campaign will be implemented through and in collaboration with CDC and PEPFAR partners in the following 7 sub regions regions respectively; Kampala – IDI, Masaka – MUK School of Public Health, Mubende and Mityana – Mildmay Uganda, Fort Portal/Kabalore and Rwenzori and Hoima sub-region – Baylor Uganda, West Nile – IDI, and Karamoja and Teso areas – TASO.
Brenda Alemura, the program manager at UYAHF said want to put young people at the center of the EHM campaign, and they will use the EHM Youth Engagement Tool Kit which was developed by Together for Girls in partnership with youth led organizations to provide key messages and organizing tools designed specifically to guide youth-led organizations in delivering vital information on post-rape care to the youth populations, and gate keepers they serve in the form of educational workshops.
Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum is a dynamic youth led, youth serving, health, human rights and girls centered organization that seeks to advance gender equality, quality health and well-being of adolescents and young people 12 – 25 years.
With three offices in Kampala,Moroto and Mbale, Uganda Youth and Adolescents Health Forum has in the last 8 years of existence empowered adolescent girls and young women to live quality health with equity, dignity and opportunities to realize their full potential.