Health

HEALTH EXPERTS DECRY LACK OF FUNDS, NON ADHERENCE TO DRUGS

By Alex Byakatonda

KABALE: Health experts in Kabale District have highlighted limited funding, lack adherence to antiretroviral drugs by people living with HIV and lack of an HIV policy, as some of the factors that are hindering the implementation of the 2021 HIV National policy guidelines on ending stigma and discrimination.

The Uganda Aids Commission in partnership with the National Forum for People Living with HIV, developed National policy guidelines on ending stigma and discrimination among the people living with the HIV virus.

The guidelines, which were launched in October last year and later disseminated to all 136 districts of Uganda, were aimed at eliminating all forms of stigma and discrimination among Persons living with HIV/AIDS, through a multi-sectoral approach in order to realize the presidential initiative of ending HIV by 2030.

Speaking on Wednesday at Kabale District Rukiiko hall, during a one mult-stakeholders meeting, the Kabale district health educator, Alfred Besigensi, observed that limited fund for carrying out outreaches on stigma and lack of HIV policy guidelines to force institutions put in place mechanisms to fight against stigma and discrimination, have continued to deter people living with HIV virus from adhering to antiretroviral drugs.

The meeting attracted officials from Uganda Aids commission and Kabale district HIV/AIDS coordination committee, and leaders of associations of people living with HIV.

Besigensi adds that the district currently has over 9,000 positive people living with HIV, who are currently on antiretroviral therapy, out of which 628, were recorded last year.

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According to the Kabale district statistician, Benon Kwitonda, the district only allocates 0.1 percent of its budget for the implementation of all HIV/AIDS intervention and control measures.

The Uganda Aids Commission director of policy, research and programming, Dr Zepher Karyabakabo, said that Uganda Aids Commission, is finalizing on negotiations with the ministry of finance to ensure that districts commit at least 0.6 percent of their annual budgets, towards implementation of all HIV/AIDS intervention and control measures beginning next financial year.

Dr Karyabakaabo, adds that the commission is in final stages of negotiations with the Parish Development Model secretariat to have the HIV/Aids intervention and control measures incorporated in the implementation of the program, as one of the ways to end the scourge by 2030.

Dr Karyabakabo adds that the collaboration is intended to reduce the costs incurred on information dissemination to the common person.

While opening the meeting, the Kabale District Chairperson, Nelson Nshangabasheija, pledged the district’s commitment to embracing all avenues intended at fighting against the HIV pandemic.

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