Community Health and Information Network (CHAIN) is a not for profit Civil Society Organization set up in 2004 in Uganda.
CHAIN promotes the empowerment of people living with and affected by HIV&AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), malaria and non-communicable diseases (NCDs).
CHAIN offers capacity building to community based organizations, supports orphans & vulnerable children (OVC) and their households, youth, women, most at risk populations and other vulnerable people in the community.
CHAIN is the secretariat of the Uganda Alliance of Patient Organizations (UAPO), an Alliance that brings together patient organizations from different diseases areas including epilepsy, sickle cell, cancer, diabetes, and mental health, Hepatitis B, HIV and AIDS etc to promote patient centred health care in Uganda.
A community where vulnerable groups infected and affected by HIV and AIDS, TB, Malaria and NCDs enjoy high quality of life.
Empowering and providing prevention and support services to vulnerable communities affected by HIV, Malaria and Non Communicable Diseases to make informed decisions on their health, social and economic circumstances.
Increase access to prevention and quality services for people living with HIV (PLHIV), orphans & vulnerable children (OVC), women, youth and other vulnerable population by providing health care and social support services.
Increase health literacy and empower the community to demand for quality and safe healthcare.
Strengthen capacity development, sustainable livelihoods and research effective and efficient epidemic response.
Enhance institutional sustainability and systems for effective service delivery.
CHAIN was founded by a group of African professionals resident in the United Kingdom in the wake of the 1998 Geneva World AIDS Conference. The Geneva conference theme, “Bridging the Gap between the North and South” highlighted how African continues to bear the brunt of the epidemic and the burden borne by communities as a result HIV and AIDS morbidity and mortality. It brought into focus the recurrent theme of the pervasive North-South divide, and the need for persons with a foothold in both worlds to form bridges of understanding, advocacy focal points and vehicles for resource mobilization in the effort to reverse the effects of the scourge of the epidemic. CHAIN emerged from the realization that this need had to be urgently met.
Uganda suffers a heavy burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases (NCDs). About 1 618 233 people were living with HIV in the year 2013/14, 7% of which were children below 15 years) and with an estimated overall incidence of 7.3%.
There is a steady rise in the number of Ugandans suffering from various forms of NCDs. Cancer of the cervix is the most common form of cancer among women followed by breast cancer, with some cases presenting among patients as young as 18 years.
According to the OVC Situation Analysis Report 2010, the level of vulnerability among children in Uganda was at 96 percent. The high level of vulnerability is largely attributed to poverty, HIV and AIDS, general gaps in the national OVC response as well as internal conflicts in some parts of the country.
As a result the country is facing a generation of young people who lack access to basic entitlements and suffer psychosocial trauma of losing family members at formative stages in their development.
This increasing burden of disease, OVC vulnerability in Uganda, low health literacy, when combined with the already under-resourced national health system, rising costs and fragmented health services, inadequate resources to scale up the national response to reach the most vulnerable children with comprehensive, effective and quality services, presents a compelling case for change.
Knowledge and awareness about the diseases and available services is low in communities, even if the patient is well-educated. Because of this lack of knowledge on the signs and symptomps of disease, over 70% of people who turn up at health facilities are normally diagnosed with cancers which are in the fourth (late) stage.
Low health literacy has also resulted into consumption of substandard medications, self medications, poor infant and young child feeding practices, unhealthy diets and lifestyles, poor health seeking behaviour and seeking alternative health care from traditional private practitioners.