Hi, I'm Pamela Brown-Peterside and I help to manage the Kwejuna Project, our program which aims to prevent the transmission of HIV from mothers to their children (PMTCT). Following 9 years of directing a community-based research site in New York City with high-risk HIV negative women, I first came to Bundibugyo in November 2004 to help out with Kwejuna when it was in its first year. I was drawn to coming here in large part because I was excited about moving into prevention with HIV infected women, serving on the frontline of the epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa and doing so living and working alongside other Christians. I stayed for 3 months, and then felt called to return for a 2 year committment and arrived back here in January 2006. My role in Kwejuna is largely administrative. I help to support our sites -we now have 9 - by providing supervisory support to the Ministry of Health staff who implement the program, ensuring they have have adequate supplies to conduct regular HIV counseling and testing for our pregnant mothers, and assisting with obtaining monthly reports from these sites, which give us a sense of how the program is doing. I also try to track the follow-up of women who are identified as HIV positive and faciliate their linkage into care. In Bundibugyo, there are 2 Ministry of Health clinics that provide HIV care and antiretroviral drugs to infected patients, and I help to facilitate the smooth running of these under-staffed and bursting-at-the-seams out-patient services. I have also worked with traditional birth attendants (also known as lay midwives) by providing training to them about PMTCT and encouraging a stronger relationship between them and professionally trained midwives who are hospital based. One of the highlights of my role over the past year has been to co-ordinate bi-monthly distributions of food to our Kwejuna mothers and their families, which up until the end of 2006 had been supplied by the UN's World Food Program. Now that these food supplements have ended, we are currently hoping to raise funds (about $15,000) to continue this program for an additional year. If you would like to contribute to this effort, please email me at PamelaBrownPeterside@gmail.com for more information about how to do so. Thanks!
I don't have a personal blog per se, but if you'd like to know more about my work in Bundibugyo with World Harvest Mission over the past year, please visit www.lamppostmedia.net.