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HIV patients protest directive requiring them to seek clearance from village chairpersons

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | People living with HIV/Aids in Bunyoro sub-region are protesting the presidential directive requiring them to get clearance from their area LC 1 chairpersons to use private transport so as to get medication from various health facilities.

Last week, the affected people said they want the presidential directives on both public and private transport relaxed saying the restrictions announced as part of the COVID-19 preventive measures are negatively affecting them since they no longer access health facilities for antiretroviral therapy.

Some of the affected people say they stay far away from health facilities adding that restricting their movements is tantamount to the termination of their lives.

Robinah Tibakanya, the Coordinator Hoima District Forum for persons living with HIV/AIDS, says some LC 1 chairpersons are not discrete, which exposes members to stigma.

She says people living with HIV/Aids should be allowed to use private means to access treatment using their treatment cards.

Latiff Ddumba, a resident of Kikuube district living with HIV says not everyone is ready to disclose his or her HIV status to LC 1 chairperson. He says HIV patients should have been accorded special status without travel restrictions.

Immaculate Nyambugu, another person living with HIV in Hoima, says they need a lot of privacy and therefore shouldn’t be exposed to each and everyone.

Samuel Kisembo, the Hoima Resident District Commissioner, says there is no option but for the patients to seek clearance from their local council chairpersons to use private means to access health facilities.

He says the ban on both private and public means was meant at restricting unnecessary movements, which could comprise efforts to stop the spread of the virus.



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