Global Livingston Institute and Bridge of Life Partner to Support HIV Prevention and Free Health Services to More Than 3,000 Ugandans

Published on February 20, 2019

The Global Livingston Institute has partnered with Bridge of Life, an independent nonprofit organization founded by DaVita Inc., and Reach a Hand Uganda to provide free health services throughout the iKnow Concert Series in Uganda. The concert series will take place in Kampala on March 8; Masaka on March 9; and Kabale on March 12. Performances include artists Michael Franti, Rob Drabkin and top Ugandan artists including Navio, Nina Roz and other international artists.

Since 2014, the Global Livingston Institute in partnership with Reach a Hand Uganda has hosted free concerts in East Africa centered around sharing culture, public health and economic development. Over the past six years, more than 160,000 Ugandans have attended the concert series, over 25,000 Ugandans have been tested for HIV while attending the shows and a vast array of essential health services have been provided.

“If you’re going to bring thousands of young people together for a free concert, why not also provide free health services?” Ryan Grundy, executive director, Global Livingston Institute said. “By partnering with Bridge of Life and collaborating with local health providers and in-country partners at the concert venues we are hoping to reach 3,000 individuals and also provide follow-up care, ongoing prevention education and recommended treatment plans to patients.”

Bridge of Life focuses on early detection and prevention as key components in the fight against chronic kidney disease and its root causes. Their volunteer team, comprised of teammates from DaVita, will implement newly designed protocol for screening a younger population that focuses on behavioral health change of high-risk habits such as tobacco and alcohol use, physical inactivity and diet. Additionally, on the days between concerts, volunteers will screen adults in nearby communities for chronic kidney disease and its root causes such as hypertension and diabetes. The professionals from Bridge of Life use real-time, lab quality testing to identify individuals who have signs of chronic illnesses and offer health education to encourage patients to take a proactive role in their own health. They will help ensure that high-risk patients receive the necessary care long-term by working with local clinics and hospitals to establish a referral process.

“Through the iKnow Concert Series and now the Girls Festival series, we are able to reach large populations of young adults in Uganda at a time when access to accurate information and education can help aid and direct individuals in making crucial decisions with regards to life skills and development, behavioral change or sexual reproductive health and rights with constant support of both teams, peer educators and cultural icons,” said Humphrey Nabimanya, founder and team leader, Reach a Hand Uganda. “This is only made possible by partnering with organizations like the Global Livingston Institute and Bridge of Life to bring these health services closer to our communities.”

“Our vision is a world where all human beings have access to quality healthcare. We are hoping to screen and educate thousands of Ugandans through the iKnow Concert Series which will help put us ahead of the diseases before they become life-threatening problems,” said Greta Walker, senior director of donor relations and communications for Bridge of Life. “Young adulthood is a critical time to form life-long health behaviors, but many people in this age group lack awareness of their own health and receive significantly less health services. This project will transform the methods that local clinics use to address life-threatening chronic illnesses by enhancing the skills and knowledge of health authorities, community health workers and community members.”