Kwania, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | 1,012 people living with HIV in Kwania district have abandoned treatment.
According to records from the district health department, there are more than 70,000 people on Anti- Retroviral Treatment.
Failure to access treatment has been attributed to lack of transport to the health facilities and lack of food.
Health experts note that skipping or abandoning treatment affects the reduction of the viral load and protection of the immune system.
Juliet Ajwang, who is living with HIV says she stopped taking her medication a week ago because she is surviving on one meal a day.
She wants the government and well-wishers to come to her rescue and provide relief food to save her from hunger.
“The last time I took my medication without food, I became dizzy, weak and reduced my strength, making me feel like vomiting. I had to stop for as long as there is no food.”
Sam Fang Omara, the Kwania HIV focal person observed that several clients on ARVs are not regularly taking their medication. He says that some patients have complained to him that they can’t continue with the treatment without food.
Salim Komakech, the Kwania district COVID-19 taskforce chairperson says the HIV clients could have benefited from the food distribution but the numbers of people seeking for relief is overwhelming the district.
“My office has received food relief from the government to support the vulnerable groups especially patients but we cannot help everyone.”
Bazil Okello Onac, the Kwania LCV chairperson has tasked the vulnerable groups to seek medical assistance where necessary and urged security personnel to permit people living with HIV to travel to health facilities to pick the drugs.