More than 200 people living with HIV/Aids in Kabalore district are benefiting from the home based care treatment program. The program was introduced by the district health department in December 2011, in the partnership with the Joint Clinical Research Center [JCRC].
More than 200 people living with HIV/Aids in Kabalore district are benefiting from the home based care treatment program. The program was introduced by the district health department in December 2011, in the partnership with the Joint Clinical Research Center [JCRC]. It came after research carried out by the health department showed that 60 percent of AIDS patients in rural areas find difficulties to access the life prolonging drugs ARVs because of the long distances to health facilities, stigmatization and the poor road network.
The Programme is being implemented in the Sub Counties of Kyarusozi, Kihuura and Nyankwanzi, which lack health facilities that offer antiretroviral drugs. Under the home care treatment, patients receive Anti-retroviral drugs from their homes. The drugs are delivered by trained health volunteers, who are provided with motorcycles to facilitate their transport to rural areas. The volunteers also counsel the patients and monitor their progress after every two weeks.
Samon Ruhweza, a resident of Nyakatooke village Nyankwanzi Sub County, says that before the inception of the home care treatment, he was finding it difficult to get treatment, because Nyakwanzi health centre III wasn’t offering ART. Ruhweza says that he was forced to travel to Fort Portal forcing him to miss out on treatment because he at times couldn’t afford transport costs.
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Joy Kabasumbi says that she is happy with the home care treatment because in the past, whenever she went to hospital to receive the drugs, she felt embarrassed and didn’t want to be identified as an AIDS patient. Kabasumbi says that although she is weak, she is sure she will receive the drugs from her home. She however says that at times, the volunteers who are supposed to check on the progress of treatment don’t turn up.
Dr. Amos Kasangaki, the coordinator of the home care treatment says if the programme is successful in the three sub counties, it will be rolled out to other sub counties in the district and more than 600 patients will benefit from the programme. Kasangaki also says that the district health department has requested for more funds for the programme in the next financial year, which will be used to train more volunteers and transport for the volunteers.
About some medical staff not making follow up visits to the patients, Kasangaki says that it is caused by lack of health volunteers. He says that there are plans to recruit more volunteers. Statistics at the Kyenjojo health department indicate that there are14, 500 people living with HIV in the district.