Thursday, June 23, 2005

AUWMD: 150 Women Strong - VERY STRONG!

You have to Give these Ladies a Lot of Respect. The Association of Uganda Women Medical Doctors (AUWMD) was established in 1987 as a non-profit NGO with the purpose of improving the health status of the population of Uganda, especially, women, children and adolescents. All women doctors and female dentists working in Uganda whether Ugandans or not are eligible for Membership. Female medical students are welcome to join the Association as well.

With a membership of 150, AUWMD is taking on the problems in Uganda such as HIV/AIDS, Adolescent Health Training, Women's Health, Gender Based Violence and Cancer of the Cervix just to name a few.

One of the organization's missions is to "build a strong professional Association of women medical doctors working in Uganda whose growing expertise will contribute to improvement of the quality of life of the disadvantaged groups, especially women, children, adolescents and the elderly, through advocacy, promotion of health rights and provision of quality health services."

HIV/AIDS education and training for community leaders and adolescents; career guidance in girls' schools; research, publication and dissemination of health-related information, and advocacy for women's health through workshops and seminars are some of the "enlightenment goals of the group.

The priority areas of concern for the association are still as follows:

High mortality amongst the target groups, from preventable diseases.
High mortality and morbidity from pregnant-related problems.
Inadequate resources allocated to reproductive health.
Inadequate health information conveyed to the communities.
Problems associated with adolescent sexual activities.

The strategies adopted for the next five year are:
- Awareness creation, advocacy and community mobilisation on priority health issues and programmes.
- Research, documentation and dissemination of information on the association's priority areas of concern.
- Close collaboration with government including implementation of activities under - - ---- Uganda's Health Sector Strategic Plan.
- Close collaboration with Development Partners and other NGOs and Civil Society Organisations working in Uganda's health sector.

Some of AUWMD's specific activities have been:

The Parents Project: November 2000 to May 2002 - Funded by the Planned Parenthood of Northern New England (PPNNE)

AUWMD says that "This project came out of a challenge identified durig implementation of the Adolescent Friendly Reproductive Health Services Project. Parents, community leaders and school administrators were lacking the knowledge and skills of dealing with adolescent health problems. The project activities include sensitisation sessions with local leaders, meeting with parents and school administrators in the Kawempe Division and the training of parents in adolescent sexuality, effective communication and counselling, growth and development, teenage pregnancy STIs etc. New materials have been developed for the training sessions."

Outreaches in Kyanja, KCC Kampala Nakawa Division: 1999 to Present
The project activities include identifying health problems faced by the people of Kyanja and discussing the priority health needs, discuss factors that contribute to the mentioned health problems and suggest possible solutions. The association is designing ways of providing sustainable health services for Kyanja

In addition to PPNNe, the AUWMD works closely with other partners who have similar interests e.g. The Population Secretariat, the Ministry of Health, and WHO, Uganda Women's Network. (UWONET). ISIS-WICCE, National Association of Women's Organisations of Uganda (NAWOU), Uganda Media Women Association (UMWA), Safe Motherhood project, Hope after Rape and Forum for African Women Educationalists-Ugandan Chapter (FAWE-U).

AUMWD deserves a lot of credit for tackling some very tough problems. It is a glowing example of what people can do when they work together within their own communities and when they partner with like minded people from other areas.

I have only scratched the service here, you would do yourself a favor if you visited the AUMWD website and become inspired by what these 150 strong women have been doing. You can find their site at:

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