August 2, 2013

MOH: Housemaids are Main HIV Carriers

The Ministry of Health has revealed that housemaids are now the highest risk group to HIV/AIDS.

Elioda Tumwesigye, the State Minister for Health and General Duties, says this is caused by the large sexual cycle that housemaids have especially at home including fathers, sons, motor cyclists, askaris and shamba boys among others. This means if each of the above people have sexual partners, then the spread of HIV is more imminent.

Dr Tumwesigye reveals that the housemaid prevalence of HIV stands at over 7 percent within Kampala compared to 3 percent among the general population.

Elioda Tumwesigye, the State Minister for Health and General Duties and Dr. Kamabare
Elioda Tumwesigye (L), the State Minister for Health and General Duties and Dr. Kamabare

Dr Tumwesigye also dismissed allegations in the press that an AIDS drug shortage has hit government hospitals. He assured the general public that there is absolutely no shortage of Anti-Retroviral drugs in the country.

Moses Kamabare, the Executive Director National Medical Stores, laboured to explain that they are well stocked with ARV’s and NMS has been delivering these drugs to all accredited facilities in a timely manner as per their orders which are submitted through a web based ordering system. However, there have been challenges which are being overcome.

According to press reports, the districts of Wakiso, Bundibugyo, Kalangala, Kasese, Kamwenge and Busia indicate that NMS does not make full deliveries on all the orders they make for drugs leading to shortages. Because of under supply, health facilities especially those in remote districts are forced to give some clients ARV’s for a few days or weeks.

The Ministry of Health also revealed that in the last financial year the government made a decision to scale up enrollment of clients on ARV’s. The target was set at 100,000 new clients enrolled every year.

As of June 2013, 566,460 people were on anti retroviral drugs as compared to availability of anti retroviral drugs (372,785) as of June 2012. This gives an increase in enrollment of 193,675 new clients which is 194 percent above the target.

The increment in enrollment is attributed to availability of anti retroviral drugs, increase in accreditation of lower level facilities ART centers, enrollment of more children on treatment and scale up of Option B+ for pregnant women. Currently the AIDS control program has 1669 accredited facilities.

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