The Home Care treatment program is boosting the treatment of HIV/AIDS in Kabarole district. In 2012, Kabarole District Health Department introduced the Home Care Treatment program in partnership with the Joint Clinical Research Center-JCRC as an alternative to improve access to anti-retroviral therapy.
This was in response to a research that showed that 60 percent of AIDS patients in rural areas were finding difficulties to access the life prolonging anti-retroviral-ARV drugs. Under the program, patients receive treatment and counseling right in their homes.
It involves the use of counselors or community health workers who visit patients weekly to perform a pill count and assess adverse reactions to the drugs. In addition, the counselors provide information on HIV/AIDS prevention to the patients and treatment supporters or care givers.
Records from the district health department indicate that there are more than 600 HIV/AIDS patients who receive treatment from their homes.
Moses Mwirumubi, a resident of Kakonga village in Rwimi Sub County is one of the beneficiaries of the Home Treatment Care program.
Mwirumubi says in the past he was finding it difficult to get treatment, because Rwimi health center III is far away from his home.
//Cue in: â€œThis treatmentâ€¦â€
Cue out: â€œâ€¦I feel strong.â€//
Elizabeth Kabahenda, a resident of Rwimi town council says that before enrolling for treatment at home, stigma kept her out of hospitals thus worsening her illness. She also says that another benefit of the home care based treatment is that she is often surrounded by family members who provide her with more love and care.
Emmanuel Musinguzi, the chairperson People Living with HIV/AIDS Kabarole district says once patients are treated from their homes, it removes the cost and pain of travelling to and from the hospital when they are weak.
He explains that in the past patients spent more than 15,000 Shillings on transport to health facilities and didn\'t have money to buy food and ended up taking ARVs on an empty stomach, which is dangerous.
//Cue in: â€œthese ARVsâ€¦
Cue out: â€œâ€¦when you have food.â€//
Steven Byaruhanga, the coordinator of the Home Care Treatment says patients and their treatment supporters are counseled together on important aspects of treatment including lifelong duration of treatment, possible adverse reactions to the drugs and the need for high adherence to medication.
According to Byaruhanga, there are plans to enroll more patients under the program from different parts of the district. He explains that the program has helped address the challenges of accessing treatment which include inadequate medical personnel and stigma.