New Strategy to Ease Access to ARVs Launched in Rwenzori

991 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
The health facility community framework strategy launched in Fort Portal on Tuesday aims at enabling people living with HIV in the community to access treatment without any hindrances.

A new strategy to enable HIV/AIDS patients to effectively access Anti-retroviral treatment has been launched in the Rwenzori region.

The health facility community framework strategy launched in Fort Portal on Tuesday aims at enabling people living with HIV in the community to access treatment without any hindrances.

Under the program, trained volunteers regularly visit the affected people at home to deliver anti-retro-viral drugs, counsel, collect information about adherence to treatment and also refer ailing patients to hospitals for specialized care.

Dr Adeodata Kekitiinwa, the executive director of Baylor-Uganda, one of the organizations implementing the strategy together with the Ministry of Health, says that the strategy seeks to break barriers in the service chain which affected access to treatment. 

She cites long waiting time at health centres, high cost of transport to reach health centres, stigma, discrimination and inadequate number of health workers as the key barriers affecting access to anti-retroviral treatment.
 
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According to Kekitiinwa, the strategy will be implemented with the help of religious, political and cultural leaders who will be required to popularize it in the community. She adds that people living with HIV can now choose people of their choice who will collect the drugs from the health facility and deliver the drugs to them.

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The strategy is similar to the HIV home based care treatment program, which enables People Living with HIV to access anti-retroviral treatment from their homes.

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 antiretroviral therapy is a challenge in resource-limited areas, where high transport costs prevent many of those in need from getting to health facilities to receive treatment.

Last month, the Ministry of Health launched new guidelines for Prevention and Treatment of HIV.

According to the guidelines, any person who tests positive to HIV will be enrolled on antiretroviral drugs after diagnosis and that all infected individuals will be eligible for treatment regardless of their CD4 count.

 

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.