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Lockdown: A nightmare for women living with HIV

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Esther Nalubega and Sylvia Nassazi who are living with HIV are struggling to survive through the nationwide Covid 19 lockdown.

Nalubega is a single mother of 9 children and resident of Katwe Taawo zone in Makindye.

She told URN that her life is a real struggle because of the lockdown since she is unable to fend for her family.

Prior to the nationwide Covid 19 lock down, Nalubega was selling agricultural produce on Kafumbe Mukasa road. She however says she can’t resume the business because  she exhausted all her capital to cater for her big family that includes her grandmother who is ill and paralysed.

This isn’t the only problem. Nalubega is still puzzled at how to reach Mildmay Uganda in Lweza on Entebbe road for her ARV refill which is almost getting finished. She explains that when she reached out to Health workers at Mildmay, they advised her to walk and pick up the ARVs.

Nalubega isn’t the only woman living with HIV who has been affected by the lockdown. Sylvia Nassazi also a resident of Katwe Taawo zone is facing a similar challenge. She is currently surviving on Septrin drug for almost a month after failing to access ARVs from Good Hope Health Center in Namuwongo.

Lillian Mworeko from the International Community of Women Living with HIV Eastern Africa (ICWEA) says they are working on an emergency plan to support the livelihood of women living with HIV who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

She also said they have established a mechanism of delivering ARVs to patients in collaboration with other service providers.

According to a 2018 Report by The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), Uganda has 1,400,000 people living with HIV 1,300,000 of which are adults. 770,000 of these are women comprising 59.23 percent.

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