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Luweero embraces model to reach out to people living with HIV

Residents waiting to receive Health Services at Bamunanika Health Center III in Luweero

Luweero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  Luweero district has embraced the “Differentiated Service Delivery model-DSMD” with the aim of identifying and reaching out to People Living with HIV/AIDS in villages. Under the “Differentiated Service Delivery model” health workers move from health centers to communities where they identify individuals in need for HIV/AIDs services.

The model is aimed at identifying, preventing, diagnosing, treating and supporting people in need of HIV and/TB services in the villages. Dr. Innocent Nkonwa, the Luweero District Health Officer explains that the health workers through linkage facilitators, peer mothers and other volunteers will identify People Living with HIV/AIDs in communities to provide them the needed services.

Dr. Nkonwa says that some PLWH have also been advised to form groups where they can send one person to the health center to pick ARVs for all members to minimize transport costs. He notes that the model aims at bridging the gap between health centers and People living with HIV/AIDS in distant villages.   

The model is being implemented by Luweero Hospital, St Mary Kasaala, Zirobwe and Namaliga Health Center. It is expected to roll out to all health centers in the district by close of the year.      

The Health Ministry approved the model in 2017 and issued guidelines on its implementation. People Living with HIV/AIDS and activists have welcomed the model, saying it will enhance enrollment, retention and adherence to Anti-Retroviral Therapy services.

Volunteers under the Dreams project supported by Men of Destiny Public Health Consults, say many people are likely to test and enroll for ART services as result of the intervention. Grace Namawejje and Doreen Namatovu, both volunteers under the Dreams Project in Luweero, say the program will see many people enroll on ART services.

Some of the People Living with HIV/AIDs, who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity for fear of stigmatization, said some of their colleagues had dropped out of ART services because of the long distances to health facilities.

Others complained that health centers lack privacy and health workers have little time to counsel them. The PLWH say the model is timely and have promised to embrace it. Luweero district has registered upsurge in the number of HIV infections.

According to the 2018 survey conducted by Luweero District Health Department and Makerere University School of Public health, Luweero town registered the highest HIV/AIDS Prevalence rate standing at 25.2 % whereas Kikyusa town council come second with 19.8%.

Kamira Sub County stood at 18.8 %, Wobulenzi town 18.4% and Kananga trading center 8.6%. On Average the district HIV/AIDs prevalence rate stand at 7.2% above the National average at 6%.         There are 35,021 Persons Living with HIV but only 18,234 people know their status and 18,231are on ART services in the district. The district believes the strategy may help to stop HIV/AIDS infections and enroll many patients on ART services.

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