Home Based HIV/AIDS Care & Treatment Faces Challenges

2024 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
The program was initiated to enable HIV/AIDS patients to access ARVs. However some patients are not receiving treatment from their homes because of lack of adequate funds and the poor roads. The patients are now forced to travel long distances to access treatment.

The HIV/AIDS Home Care treatment Program in Kabalore is facing challenges, which have affected the treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS in the district.  In 2012, the district launched the program to enable People Living with HIV/AIDs to access anti-retroviral treatment from their homes. Under the program, trained volunteers regularly visit the affected people at home to deliver anti-retroviral drugs, counsel, collect information about adherence to treatment and also refer ailing patients to hospitals for specialized care.

However, the program is facing numerous challenges ranging from lack of funds to poor roads to enable the volunteers reach out to the patients in a district where the HIV/AIDS prevalence rate stands at 13%. According to statistics at the district health department, more than 600 patients are benefitting from the program. 

In Rwimi Sub County, Gertrude Mugenyi a patient says that in the past two months the volunteers haven’t delivered ARVs to her home, which has forced her to get the drugs from nearby health centers. Mugenyi says that sometimes, the health centers lack the ARVs, which her and other patients to travel a long distance to the referral hospital in Fort Portal. She says that because of her poor health, she often feels weak to travel to the health facility.

//Cue in: “I can’t travel…
Cue out: “…the ARVs.”//

Naome Namara, the chairperson National Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS-NACWOLA Kabarole branch says the district should address the challenges. Namara says that patients prefer to be treated at home rather than go to health facilities citing stigma. David Mugenyi, a health volunteer says that they are finding difficulties reaching patients’ homes because of the bad roads. He says the bicycles they were given to easy their movement are weak and often breakdown because of the bad roads.

Gerald Musinguzi, the Kabarole district HIV/AIDS focal person says they lack adequate funds for the program. He explains that the funds are required to pay the volunteers since funds allocated to the health sector are inadequate. He says the district is seeking for assistance from the Ministry of Health and other partners to fund the program.

//Cue in: “there is shortage…
Cue out: “…they can fund it.”//

The program has been hailed as an effective way to achieve good adherence and response to antiretroviral therapy in rural areas. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, access to anti retroviral therapy is expanding in resource-limited areas, where high transport costs prevent many of those in need from getting to health facilities to receive treatment.


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.