In 2015, PEPFAR in partnership with the Ministry of Health, piloted the DREAMS program. DREAMS focused on HIV negative girls that were DeterminedResilient Empowered AIDS Free and Mentored and Safe. The program’s overall aim was to reduce HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW). This was informed by the disproportionate effects of the HIV epidemic on young girls compared to their male counterparts within the same age group. The program which combines both community and health facility-based interventions is proof of concept expected to lead to a reduction in HIV infection among adolescent girls and young women by 40% within 2 years. DREAMS was rolled out in 10 districts namely; Gomba, Butambala, Sembabule, Mityana, Mubende, Rakai, Mukono, Lira, Oyam and Gulu.
The core DREAMS package covers the following interventions:
- Empower Girls and young women: empower girls and reducing their risk of HIV and violence through HIV Testing and counselling, Condom promotion and provision, Expanded and Improved Contraceptive mix and Post violence care.
- Reduce risk of sex partners: partners are traced and sensitised about HIV and offered services like HIV Testing and Counselling and Condoms, some are linked to Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) and those who are HIV Positive linked to Antiretroviral Therapy (ART).
- Strengthen Families: This intervention is aimed at sensitizing parents/guardians on how best they can support their AGYWs and strengthen the families financially. The services given under this include: Sinovuyo, Cash Transfers, educational subsidies and combined socio-economic approaches.
- Mobilize communities for change: This intervention is aimed at educating girls, young women, young men and the community. This is done through community dialogues, community dramas, SASA press conferences, films screening and more.
The DREAMS DQA was aimed at verifying the numbers of the enrolled girls into the program, the numbers of girls being provided with services under Social Economic Skills and Stepping Stones programs.
METS is expected to provide quality data to DREAMS program stakeholders to gauge how the program is performing and eventually guide their decision-making process. To achieve this, METS makes periodic analysis of the data in the system to determine progress and performance. Against this background, a Data Quality Assessment for the DREAMS program was conducted between 16thto 27thApril 2018 in all the 10 districts where the program is implemented. Currently, there are over 897 service points where DREAMS interventions are conducted and 270 were visited as a sample selection for the DQA.
METS further developed a tracking system to collect and store records on AGYWs enrolled and services received as well as enable report generation from this data. This system is known as Uganda DREAMS Tracking System (UDTS) and as of April 2018, 204294 girls on the program had been entered into the system.