Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Aids Support Organization – TASO centre in Gulu has slowed down its community programme due to effects of COVID-19. The centre serves more than 8,500 patients.
The backbone of the centre is HIV/AIDS counselling; antiretroviral therapy, voluntary medical safe male circumcision, family planning, Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission – PMCT, adolescent and child counselling services among others.
Michael Okumu Ochow, the centre team leader says that they have scaled-down some of the community services and engagement to abide by the COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
Ochow also explained that curtailing some of the centre’s activities was due to high expenditures being incurred on transport of staff to the field.
Ochow further divulged that they have resorted to the use of a new intervention of Community Drug Distribution Points (CDDP) as a cost-effective way to reach out to clients affected by the national lockdown.
TASO has also established Community AIDS Support Agents – CASA who are chosen among persons living with HIV/AIDS whose services entail distributing drugs to a cluster of 10 clients.
Currently, with a staffing level of 54 personnel, the centre has also halted the services of volunteers and students to ensure better services. Also in response to curbing the spread of the infectious pandemic, walk-in clients are being served under tents at the centre.
Established in 2004, TASO centre in Gulu is a pioneer non-public actor in the HIV and AIDS response in the LRA post-conflict Northern Uganda. It is of immense benefits to positive patients in neighbouring Omoro, Nwoya, Pader, Amuru, Kitgum, Agago, Lamwo, and South Sudan.