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From disease treatment to health promotion

Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng

Though 2018 witnessed several positives on the HIV fight front, with prevalence brought down, more people being able to access treatment, centers offering antiretroviral drugs increased, and viral load testing for those already on treatment becoming easier with more testing centers introduced in the regions from one at the Central Public Health laboratories in Kampala, Musoba says they are operating in an unpredictable environment. He says 90% of HIV funding still comes from donors.

Proposals for self-reliance such as having the HIV/AIDS Trust fund in place despite many years of pushing have failed.  Though the regulations for operationalising the fund were approved by parliament in 2017, nothing has ever become of it. The hope is to have a fund in place in this New Year.

Re- opening Mulago

Meanwhile, the main Mulago hospital will also be re-opened this month, according to Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwiine.  The promise is that this comes with a lot changes; including starting to conduct major surgeries like kidney transplants that would otherwise be treated abroad and handling only cases that are referred from lower facilities.

If fulfilled, this could fulfill health managers’ long agenda of decongesting health facilities like Kiruddu and Kawempe general hospitals where patients had taken refugee as renovation works were being done. It also means the facilities will now operate on their own in the end bringing an end to the unnecessary filling of the national hospital even with minor illnesses that can be handled at lower health centers.

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