By Christopher Nyeko
Gulu: Okoya Chris Owen, the Owaloo sub-county LCIII chairperson, has decried the high HIV prevalence among the population in his sub-county.
The Gulu district health department has ranked Owalo subcounty as the most hit subcounty with high HIV prevalence, which stands at 12.6 percent compared to HIV prevalence in the district, which stands at 8.8 percent.
The Owaloo sub-county authority has attributed the increasing cases of HIV among the populace to Balalo herb men infiltration in the sub-county, the presence of prison farms, the UPDF training wing, and the Lugore army barracks.
Okoya says new people are infiltrating the community, and they are luring local women and young girls with money in exchange for sex, which he says is greatly contributing to the upsurge of HIV.
He, however, urged the district health department to take a proactive approach to address the situation he describes as catastrophic.
Owaloo sub-county has only Lugore Health Center II, which does provide antiretroviral drugs to the people living with HIV, hence forcing them to trek up to Labwor-Omor Health Centre III in Palaro sub-county, which is approximately 14 kilometers to and fro.
Meanwhile, Dr. Kenneth Cana, the acting Gulu district health officer, says the district health is well aware of the situation, noticing that the prevalence in Owaloo stands at 12.6 percent, while at Palaro it stands at 11.2 percent. However, the prevalence in Gulu district stands at 8.8 percent, and mortality stands at 4 percent.
Cana added that the district health department has designated Owaloo and Palaro subcounties as the hotspot areas in the district, and they are embarking on sensitizing the local leaders to educate their people about the increasing cases of HIV.
He further added that the district has recommended a number of development partners working with people living with HIV to address the situation, which he says is alarming.
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