ICOD Action Network hosted another HIV/AIDS stakeholders meeting this December. The goal was to plan for monitoring Anti Retroviral Therapy (ART) services in the district, which will be done by ICOD Action Network and Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS. The meeting attended by Lyantonde District Local Government representatives, Lyantonde Hospital, Lyantonde Moslem Supreme Health Center, Uganda Cares, Uganda Police representatives, representative from Sub Counties PLHA networks was a major step towards our efforts to consolidate partnership between different institutions in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Why monitor ART services?
Lyantonde District has only one hospital that is poorly equipped with personnel and medical supplies. The hospital is frequently hit by drug shortages. During drug shortages, people living with HIV/AIDS are the mostly affected because they can’t access life saving ARVs. Lyantonde Hospital is currently the only source of ARVs for over 7000 PLHAs on ARVs. More than 70% of the PLHAs move more than 30 kilometers to access the services since rural Health centers like Kinuuka Health Center which previous served more than 100 people have been rendered redundant due lack of ARVs supplies. Health centers also run out of essential drugs such as anti-malarials, septrin, and drugs for children, which are important in treatment of opportunistic infections. There is no formal monitoring mechanism of ART services in the district, which has affected investment in ART services by NGOs and affected government’s efforts to increase ART services in the district.
|Some of the participants at the meeting.|
Over the period of one year, ICOD Action Network and Lyantonde Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS will monitor access to ARVs by PLHAs. We will be looking at some of the challenges faced by PLHAs in accessing ART services, monitor ARVs supply, lobby for increased ARVs supply at Lyantonde’s Health Rural Centers, making referrals in times of shortages and directly working with PLHAs in the district to advocate for increased ARVs supply in the district.