Over 1,000 children Test for HIV in Lira Town

2549 Views Lira, Uganda

In short
Petua Kiboko, a nursing officer at Lira regional referral hospital says that only four out of the 1258 children who under went the test on Saturday positive. She says the children will be enrolled for HIV care services, which includes treatment.

More than 1,000 children under 15-years of age have undergone free HIV testing and counseling in Lira town. They were tested in a long week campaign dubbed know your child’s status, which was initiated by Lira regional referral hospital with support from Strengthening Uganda's Systems for Treating AIDS Nationally -SUSTAIN, an American funded organization. Petua Kiboko, a nursing officer at Lira regional referral hospital says that only four out of the 1258 children who under went the test on Saturday positive.

She says the children will be enrolled for HIV care services, which includes treatment. Kiboko explains that the campaign aims at extending HIV care services to children, whose parents are unable to afford services in private health facilities. She says that the VCT campaign is also part of wider initiatives to reduce HIV prevalent amongst children. Kiboko urges parents of the children who tested HIV positive to support them through ensuring that they earn a descent living.Dr.Micheal Irige, a medical officer attached to Strengthening Uganda's Systems for Treating AIDS Nationallysays the project to boost HIV care service provision to those living with the virus.
 
He says there are also aiming at promoting zero HIV new cases, discrimination and zero stigmatization of patients. Grace Atim Raach, Lira district health educator warned parents against being excited about the status of their children and instead encouraged them to continuously talk to them about the dangers of the HIV pandemic. Maureen Arao, who tested HIV positive in 2006 while in p.5, says it is more important for parents not to give up on their children after testing positive. Arao who is now pursuing a certificate in Agriculture is optimistic of becoming a successful person after her studies despite of being positive.
 
Margaret Akullu, a mother of five says she now knows the status of all her children after they were tested during the campaign. Dr.Peter Kusolo, the Lira district health officer recently said the district’s HIV prevalence has increased to about 8.3 % slightly higher than the national prevalence of 7.3%. Lira regional referral hospital is currently involving in a number of community outreaches activities to stem further infections.

 

Tagged with: hiv/aids children

About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN Bureau Chief Lira, Northern Uganda.A multimedia Journalist, Media trainer and investigative enthusiast. Lira,Apac,Dokolo,Oyam, Kwania, Otuke, Amolatar,and Alebtong districts fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.