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Entebbe Hosts First EDCTP funded EAPoC-VL Annual General Meeting

Entebbe recently hosted the first EDCTP funded EAPoC-VL Annual General meeting on the 28th and 29th July,2022 at the Imperial Botanical Beach hotel, Entebbe that started with the arrival and registration done by EAPOC-VL Secretariat which was proceeded by introduction of all members present both physical and online. The project focuses on the Use of Point of Care HIV Viral Load Monitoring to improve Viral Load Suppression among Children and Adolescents Living with HIV in East Africa (EAPOC-VL).

Professor Kaleebu as overall project coordinator gave welcome remarks, he welcomed and thanked all members for having made it for the first face to face after Covid -19 meeting. He congratulated members upon the successful completion of the first year.

Dr. Eleanor Namusoke Magongo the team lead – Pediatric and Adolescent HIV Care Treatment in Uganda as one of the guests keynote speakers shared with the team the developments of viral load monitoring among children and adolescents in East Africa.

In her presentation she shared with the meeting that AIDS Control Program is guided by the Uganda HSHASP 2018/2019-2022/23 and their major goal was to reduce HIV incidence and HIV related mortality by 50% by 2023. She however said that there was a lower ART coverage in children & adolescents, & higher risk of treatment failure & switch to higher regimens with an Overall, suboptimal retention, worse at 12 months but informed the team that the suppression in the previous quarters had increase.

Dr. Sammy Khagayi shared about data management and data sharing for EAPOC-VL project with the objectives; Ms. Sarah Coutinho, took the meeting through the purpose of monitoring. Dr. Yunia Mayanja who represented WP1 informed the meeting the updates, challenges, and mitigation measures of WP1.

Prof. Ria Reis chaired session two and gave updates about the WP2. Dr. Brenda Kateeba the representative for WP3 gave progress and Planned activities for year 2 WP3 and shared with the team the challenges for WP3.

The WP5 representative Dr. Mbazzi Senkoro shared with the members the updates, challenges, and mitigation measures. WP6 was represented by Mrs. Elinor Wanyama Chemonges. Mrs. Emily Nyanzi gave a presentation on the updates, challenges, and mitigation measures for WP7.

Prof. Sayoki Mfinanga chaired the student presentations session where four PHD students and one Master student presented their concepts and methodologies of their research work. Below were the presentations.

Mr. Dennis Ernest Ssesanga presented on impact of technology-based behaviour change communication on stigma and retention in care among adolescents living with HIV and linked to care in central Uganda.

Dr. Perry Msoka presented on Implementation of Point of Care Viral load monitoring: A mixed methods research among children and adolescents living with HIV in Tanzania.

Mr. Frank Angira presented on Implementation of Point of Care HIV Viral Load Monitoring to improve Viral Load Suppression among Children and Adolescents Living with HIV in East Africa (EAPoC-VL).

Jean Niyibizi presented on assessment of the mediating effects of psychosocial life indicators on the effect of the point of care (PoC) on adherence and viral load suppression among adolescent and youth living with HIV in East Africa.

Alan Mtenga presented on acceptability of a digital adherence tool (evriMED) among patients and Health care workers for promoting adherence to tuberculosis treatment in Kilimanjaro Tanzania.

The annual general meeting ended with EAPOC-VL work package committee meeting.


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