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TASO sets up ARV drugs distribution points in Acholi

Antiretroviral drugs.

Gulu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Aids Support Organization-TASO, Gulu care centre has embarked on community distribution of antiretroviral drugs to people living with HIV.

At least 87 distribution points have been created in the eight districts of the Acholi sub region to enable the patients to access treatment during the lockdown.

Essentially, all HIV positive persons are promptly enrolled on lifetime antiretroviral medication to support their immune system from being compromised by the virus.

However, HIV care service providers are currently finding it hard to ensure that all patients get hold of the needed antiretroviral medication because of the suspension of public transport.

Michael Ochowo, the TASO centre manager in Gulu says that 70 percent of their clients are unable to come to the centre for drugs due to the lockdown. Among the affected are the elderly and vulnerable in distant places.

The centre currently provides care to 9,000 people that are scattered around the various districts of Acholi sub region and others from Oyam, Kiryandongo and South Sudan.

Last year, the centre experienced several people who abandoned treatment in the first phase of the lockdown, but 200 of them were traced and rolled back to treatment.

Christine Laker, one of the beneficiaries of the community distribution says that the intervention by TASO has given her hope and courage to live on. Laker says that the distribution point is one kilometre from her home and can be easily accessed unlike in the past when she used to travel 7 kilometres to the TASO centre.

According to the Gulu district health department, 27,000 people are living with HIV/Aids and 9,000 have abandoned treatment.



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