network support agents, Uganda
The main objective of the three year Networks Project was to build the capacity of groups of people living with HIV (PLHIV) and to link communities and PLHIV with their local health services. It also gave PLHIV an important role in supporting the delivery of HIV services in health facilities and the community.
Alliance Uganda trained a network of more than 1,300 PLHIV as peer outreach workers, known as Network Support Agents (NSAs), who operated the community referral system to identify those in need of prevention, care and support, linked them to appropriate service providers and provided ongoing psychosocial support.
The project originally started in seven districts of Uganda but rapidly expanded to cover 40 districts nationwide, and was replicated in a further 12 districts by Alliance partners. In three years, over 1.3 million people accessed services. In addition, a total of nearly 147,000 referrals were made and 19,832 orphans and vulnerable children were supported.
The Networks Project in Uganda came to an end in September 2009, but many of the Networks of People Living with HIV are active and still supported by Network Support Agents (NSAs).