The remoteness of the region has contributed to the district having the highest prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in the country.
Kalangala District has a rate of 30% HIV/AIDS prevalence which is far above Uganda's national average of 6.4%
Despite the region's high infection rate, the majority of residents affected cannot easily access health services due to the high cost of transport by boat.
With its partners Kalangala District Forum of people living with HIV/AIDS Network (KAFOPHAN) and Kalangala Community Radio, ActionAid's Kalangala Local Rights Programmes advocate for a reduction of new HIV infections through cost effective HIV preventive interventions.
Advocacy for equitable access to antiretroviral treatment and scaling up HIV counselling and testing throughout the district has been spearheaded by ActionAid and its partners. Expansion of already existing home-based care programmes and community referral systems are also underway.
In addition, the remoteness and scattered geography of the islands make it difficult for children to access schools. The twenty five Government subsidised primary schools in the district are located on only eleven of the islands in Kalangala. This leaves most children residing on the other 52 islands with very little or no hope of accessing Uganda’s Universal Primary Education Programme (UPE). In order for the majority of children to to go to school in Kalangala District, they would have to move and/or commute from one island to another on every school day, which is very costly and risky.
Kalangala Local Rights Programmes have continuously worked with the District's local government, parents' associations and the Kalangala District Education Forum, to lobby and advocate for favourable Education Rights. Together they run interventions geared towards increasing access to quality basic education in the district. Kalangala Field Office recently completed the construction of a model dormitory at Bufumira Primary School with the capacity to accommodate 80 pupils to address issues associated with difficult access to free education on the island.
Kalangala's Local Rights programmes requests that the central government recognises the uniqueness and remoteness of the district that make service delivery difficult compared to other districts in Uganda. The government should therefore consider increasing financial support for innovative initiatives that address access to social services such as;
- Boarding facilities for primary schools
- Construction of teacher houses in very remote places to encourage teachers to stay
- Outreach programmes for primary health care services to distant islands
- Reasonable hardship allowances for civil servants who accept to work in such remote areas