Aids patients fall off drugs over distant pick-up centre


Kampala. An unspecified number of people living with HIV/Aids in Kyenjojo District have abandoned treatment because the nearest health facility where they can get anti-retroviral drugs is 10 kilometres away.

The National Organisation of People Living with HIV in Uganda (NAFOPHANU) said this has diminished the immunity of people living with the virus. Butunduzi and Bugaaki are the most-affected sub counties.
Ms Loy Nyakato, 32, said she stopped taking ARVs two years ago because she required Shs18,000 for a return trip to Butunduzi Health Centre III to pick up the medicine.

“I have eight children and four of them have since acquired the virus since I give birth by myself, which exposes them. We survive on subsistence farming since I cannot get employed anywhere as most of the time I am sick,” she said.
Her husband is unemployed and has resorted to alcohol drinking due to frustration, Ms Nyakato said.

Ms Sephoiza Kabajunguzi’s two grandchildren living with HIV have missed drugs for the last three weeks because she failed to raise the transport fare to reach Nyamabuga Health Centre III, about 10 kilometres away.
According to Mr Richard Asiimwe, the ART clinic in-charge in Butunduzi Sub-county, many individuals enrolled on drugs miss picking them because they cannot raise cash for transport to the facility.

NAFOPHANU spokesperson Dorothy Nassolo said: “We call upon the Health ministry to enhance and roll out the Differentiated Health Service Delivery model (which mobilises Aids patients in communities) in hard-to-reach areas like Kyenjojo.”
Health ministry statistics shows that more than 200,000 HIV-positive people in Uganda have not yet enrolled on treatment.

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