Saturday, 22 November 2014
In 2012, TASO signed a Cooperative Agreement with CDC to strengthen health systems in Uganda specifically in the districts of Tororo, Manafwa and Jinja. Under this agreement, TASO committed itself to support 53 Public Health Facilities (PHFs) to offer comprehensive HIV/AIDS/TB/SRH services.
In March 2014, TASO together with the three districts signed new Financial Agreements to continue the Health Systems Strengthening project in Tororo on 12 March 2014, Manafwa on 13 March 2014 and Jinja 14 March 2014.
In supporting these PHFs, TASO has trained the staff in Provider Initiated HIV Testing and Counseling (PITC), Paediatric HIV Care, biosafety and nutrition counseling. This was in addition to staff carrying out spport supervision, mentoring sessions and auditing suspport. Both the districts and TASO identified staffing gaps. TASO then recommended staff to the districts who subjected them to interviews before recruiting the best. Further support will be offered in the fields of ART Management, Financial Management and Management of logistics.
“It is hard to bid farewell to the people you have worked with for such a long time (more than a quarter of a century!)”.
These were the words of Mary Kakeeto Lukubo, TASO’s longest serving staff, in an internal e-mail captioned “time to go “to TASO staff this afternoon to announce her retirement after serving her employment contracts.
Mama Mary or Ssenga as she is fondly referred to in the TASO Family, was part of a small group of 16 people who came together to start an initiative for mutual support for people affected by HIV and AIDS. That initiative later became one of the largest and most organized responses to HIV and AIDS in Uganda and the Sub Saharan African Region, The AIDS Support Organisation. She is an honored founder member of that great institution that has impacted lives of millions of people from all corners of Uganda and beyond.
By all bounds Mary, who has been part of TASO since its inception in 1987, has seen, worked and lived it all to deservedly earn the accolade and title, “Mama”. Mary has religiously served and put her hands and head in literary every programmatic area that TASO has delivered services on. The list is long and we will share it in other write ups. Her most recent assignments were to support the process of re-grounding clients and staff on the revered TASO philosophy and Value systems. It is no wonder that those issues conspicuously featured in her brief message. She called upon all to uphold the success factors of TASO especially the principles which inspire us to do what we do because we love it.
Mary applauded the clients for giving each of us an opportunity to contribute to the response by their courage to live the philosophy of Positive Living with HIV and AIDS. She called upon all clients to uphold that great product of Positive Living and the values of "Equal rights, equal opportunities, shared responsibilities”; Integrity and Human dignity to take their contribution in the fight to defeat HIV to even greater heights.
Tomorrow Thursday June 15, 2014 will be the last day of Mary’s employment contract. The responses to the message on this retirement by staff so far seen by this writer sturdily agree that, Ssengas never retire, meaning Mary will forever be a resource to be consulted on a wide range of issues pertaining to the TASO family. Mama Mary we will always love your wise counsel and pray for more blessings as you take some rest.
Mama Mary, a million TASO hugs from the TASO Communications Unit!
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