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ART shortages disorganize clients in Serere

Antiretroviral treatment

Serere, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Some people living with HIV/Aids in Serere district have missed their antiretroviral treatment because of the shortage of Atazanavir and Lopinavir drugs at some health facilities for more than a month.

Atazanavir and Lopinavir are second line drugs. However, the absence of the drugs in some health facilities have triggered panic and discomfort among clients.

Florence Apio, a resident of Kikota village in Serere town council says she lost hope after failing to get the drugs from Serere HC1V twice.

According to Apio, the absence of Atazanavir has weakened her and she is unable to carry on with her activities like garden work and domestic chores.

She told our reporter that she failed to walk for days until her mentor; Christine Ewulet struggled to get for her some drugs on Monday.

In Kadungulu, William Emau, another client who missed out on the drugs says he has been bed ridden for weeks.

He explains that his refill was on May 5th but when he went to Kadungulu HC111, there were no drugs.

Emau noted that even after making several calls to health workers, he didn’t receive the drug refills.

Stephen Omoen, another client in Ajesa cell says he is now suffering body itches after being forced to take another drug after failing to get Atazanavir. The 83- year-old who has been on ART for 19 years is worried that the changes in ART supply might affect his health further.

Gregory Peter Okiirai Ejautene, the Communications Officer at TASO in Soroti said they delivered all the required drugs in two consignments to various health facilities.

Dr. Francis Odeke, the Serere District Health Officer also insisted that there was no shortage of ART drugs in the district. His statement however differed from his assistant Susan Akora who revealed that although there was a delay in deliveries, the situation is under control.

ARVs/ART are drugs for life and skipping any medication increases the risk of developing drug resistance which might force the client to change treatment according to scientists.

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