The Aids Support Organization- TASO Gulu Care Centre has embarked
on community distribution of antiretroviral drugs to people living with HIV.
At least 87 distribution points have been created in the eight districts
of the Acholi Sub Region to enable the patients to access treatment during
Essentially, all HIV positive persons are promptly enrolled on lifetime
antiretroviral medication to support their immune system from being compromised
by the virus.
However, HIV care service providers are currently finding it hard
to ensure that all patients get hold of the needed antiretroviral medication
because of the suspension of public transport.
Michael Ochowo, the TASO Centre Manager in Gulu, says that 70
percent of their clients are unable to come to the centre for drugs due to the
lockdown. Among the affected are the elderly and vulnerable in distant places.
The Centre currently provides care to 9,000 people that are scattered
around the various districts of Acholi Sub Region and others from Oyam,
Kiryandongo and South Sudan.
Last year, the centre experienced several people who abandoned
treatment in the first phase of the lockdown, but 200 of them were traced and rolled
back to treatment.
Christine Laker, one of the beneficiaries of the community
distribution says that the intervention by TASO has given her hope and courage to
live on. Laker says that the distribution point is One Kilometre from her home
and can be easily accessed unlike in the past when she used to travel 7 kilometres
to the TASO centre.
Cue in…/Luo.. ento ma an…”
Cue out…”ci ikare ma…”
According to the Gulu District health department, 27,000 people are
living with HIV/Aids and 9,000 have abandoned treatment.