Strengthening TB and HIV & AIDS Responses – East Central Region (STAR-EC)


STAR-EC serves approximately 3.1 million people (9% of the country’s total population) in nine districts in the East Central region of Uganda.

STAR-EC is a five-year, district-based initiative funded by USAID and implemented by a consortium of five partners[1]. STAR-EC increases access, coverage, and utilization of quality and comprehensive HIV/AIDS and TB prevention. It also provides comprehensive care and treatment services within district health facilities and their respective communities.

Under STAR-EC, Bantwana has developed a referrals and networking model to improve access to comprehensive HIV/AIDS and TB services. Bantwana’s referrals and networking approach aligns with national policy and focuses on strengthening inter-facility, intra-facility, and community-facility referrals [2]. Bantwana also improves coordination and networking mechanisms at community and district levels.

Bantwana also enhances the East Central region’s planning, coordination, and implementation of government and community-based services for children, ensuring that the region incorporates the National OVC Policy and National Strategic Program Plan of Interventions for OVC in district, sub-county, and parish plans. Bantwana does this by supporting regional mapping exercises to strengthen referrals systems and conducting sub-county-level dialogues to improve cross-sector coordination. We support the nine districts under STAR-EC to improve data quality, to integrate data into the national OVC management information system, and to build advocacy for protection of vulnerable children and their households.



[1] The STAR-EC consortium includes JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (JSI) as the prime partner, with sub-partners World Education’s Bantwana Initiative, Communication for Development Foundation Uganda (CDFU), mothers-2-mothers (m2m), and Uganda Cares.

[2]Inter-facility referrals: The process of referring or transferring clients to another facility, sometimes actually physically transporting or accompanying them.

Intra-facility referrals: Particularly in larger facilities (e.g. district and regional hospitals), includes sending clients to other departments within the same facilities.

Community-facility referrals: Using existing community structures, including various types of volunteers, as well as community based organizations, to identify and send potential clients to facilities for needed services.