Dear friends and supporters of USHAPE,
I am very pleased to introduce you to one of my favourite USHAPE graduates and a colleague of ours here at Bwindi Community Hospital…the delightful, compassionate and inspiring Peace Atwongyeire.
Dr Claire Thomas, USHAPE Bwindi Clinical Lead
I am called Peace Atwongyeire and I am currently working at Bwindi Community Hospital as an HIV counsellor and expert patient.
I started working with Bwindi Community Hospital in 2007 as an accounts assistant. I decided to disclose to my bosses, relatives and friends that I was living with HIV. The love, support and care I received gave me more courage to go public about my status. This made me a stronger person and it gave me the opportunity to accept invitations to speak to many couples, youths, families, local communities and churches about the fight against HIV/AIDS and positive living.
In 2012, I was appointed as an HIV expert patient. Having gone through so many experiences with HIV myself, I was able to stand up for others and to teach them about HIV prevention, further transmission, reinfection and positive living. This led to an opportunity to go for further training in HIV counselling and testing from Makerere University College of Health services. In 2014 I qualified as an HIV counsellor, which is the job I am doing now.
In May 2015 I underwent the family planning training course by USHAPE and I attained the Level 2 certificate in family planning. Since then I have been a strong advocate of family planning in the department and was declared family planning champion of the department.
The course equipped me with the knowledge and skills a HIV counsellor should be having. I am now able to advise on the social economic benefits of family planning and information about modern methods available in Uganda.
I am very happy and I love my Job.