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Tororo health facilities run out of ART drugs

Tororo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Several health facilities involved in offering Anti-Retroviral therapy-ART services in Tororo district are facing a drug stock out. The affected health facilities include among others Mukuju health center IV, Malaba health III, Mulanda health IV, Tororo general hospital, and Nagongera health center IV.

Health authorities in the district say the health facilities haven’t received essential drugs especially second line ARVs and pediatrics regiments for over six months. Connie Bwire, the Tororo District Assistant Health officer says that they often receive inadequate stocks which quickly run out.

She says the district has been moving around health facilities such as Mbale Hospital, Naguru Referral Hospital, Kapelabyong, Masafu in Busia in the neighboring districts seeking for ARVs, which is made possible through implementing partners like RHITES-E. Bwire also disclosed that they had registered an increase in the number of HIV positive cases during Covid-19 lockdown.

Harriet Margret Egesa, a senior nursing officer at Mukuju health center IV in Tororo district told Uganda Radio Network that the ARV stock out at the facility is a huge blow to their fight against HIV since it affects the patient’s viral load suppression and exposes them to opportunistic infections.

She explained that they had borrowed some ARVs from Naguru Hospital in Kampala but some of their clients were finding it difficult to collect it because of the Covid-19 restrictions barring the use of boda bodas. Egesa explained that they have registered 26 HIV positive cases since the Covid-19 lockdown was registered in March 2020.

Dr. Sam Lyomoki, Worker’s Member of Parliament and member of the HIV/AIDS Parliamentary Committee which visited the district to access the impact of Covid-19 on the fight against HIV/AIDs highlighted the need for government to step up the provision of ARVs to health facilities.

He said it’s unsustainable for health centers to rely on other facilities for drugs.

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