about the project

In 2003, after years of preparation, three acupuncturists from the United States initiated an intensive, acupuncture training program in Kampala, Uganda. Trainings conducted at the KISWA Health Centre, focused on care for those with HIV/AIDS, symptoms of malaria, tuberculosis, and other conditions. The original training class of 13 local health care providers included midwives, physiotherapists, a traditional healer, and medical doctors. Since then in Uganda, GAP has coordinated with the Ministry of Health and provided trainings in government healthcare facilities in more than 10 districts, including Kisoro, Ibanda, Isingiro, Kyotera, Lyantonde, Mbarara, Masaka, Mukono, Mbale, and Luwero. We have now trained and certified as Acupuncture Protocol Specialists (APS’s) more than 300 providers who provide acupuncture in hospitals and health centers.
In addition to training new practitioners we visit Trainees where they practice to provide ongoing support and supervision and to enrich their skills and understanding of acupuncture. We also work with the Trainees to ensure better integration of acupuncture into their facilities and the overall Ugandan healthcare system.

The Global Acupuncture Project recruits acupuncturists from around the world who want to make a lasting change in health services in developing countries. These volunteer acupuncturists travel to specific target communities where GAP has been invited and train the local health-care providers. At the completion of the trainings, GAP maintains contact with the communities to provide ongoing support and continuing education.

At the core of the Project is the training of local community healthcare providers so that they can provide the treatments. This is a very important aspect of this Project in that it empowers the people themselves. To accomplish this, we have written a manual that in clear and simple terms explains the theory of acupuncture and the techniques associated with it. The bulk of the manual is the presentation of specific acupuncture protocols associated with the signs and symptoms manifested by HIV, malaria, TB, and other conditions and the side effects from the medications used to treat them.

The Project trains licensed acupuncturists on the use and teaching of the manual. These acupuncturists travel to specific target communities in the African continent and train the local individuals. The Project maintains contact with the communities to provide ongoing support through direct contact and via our web site.

“We arrived at the clinic each morning to find people waiting to get acupuncture. Simple treatments based on the protocols we had created almost always resulted in a reduction, often dramatic, in symptoms. And this took place among HIV+ patients who also had such illnesses as malaria, TB, scabies, syphilis, and hypertension.”

-- Notes of a PAAP Trainer

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