Amuru district health department has resorted to the door to door delivery of the life-prolonging Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs to people living with HIV following the suspension of public transport.
The door to door campaign will benefit 3,194 people living with HIV in hard to reach areas and cannot easily access health facilities to get the essential drug.
These include among others Attiak Sub County, which has 950 people on ARV, Pabbo Sub County (2,240), Amuru Sub County (258), Amuru Town Council (593) and Lamogi Sub County (554).
Michael Lakony, the Amuru LC V Chairperson on Wednesday said that the majority of the people living with HIV in the district cannot afford transport to different centers where they get the drug refills from.
He explained that the ban on public transport for 42 days has greatly affected their mobility, something that may force many to abandon the life-prolonging drugs. He says that the district also plans to start community outreaches including immunization for children and antenatal services.
The venture is being supported by North Rhites Acholi, a non-governmental organization operating in the district, which has donated four vehicles and provided facilitation.
Apollo Okello, the Amuru district health Secretary, says that the initiative followed last year`s lockdown, which claimed lives of three people living with HIV in the district who had abandoned treatment after failing to access their drug refills.
Okello explained that the district health team will be working with the Village Health Teams (VHTs) to identify those on ARV in their areas to deliver drugs for at least one month.
Osborn Geoffrey Oceng, the Amuru Resident District Commissioner and Chairperson of the District COVID-19 Taskforce, said his office has also authorized local council chairpersons to give letters authorizing Boda-bodas to carry anyone living with HIV who wants to access medical attention.
One of the clients in Pabbo Sub County, who spoke to URN on the condition of anonymity said that the initiative is a relief to the majority of them who could not access medication due to the lockdown. Similarly, The Aids Support Organization (TASO) has also set up 87 ARV distribution points in the eight districts of the Acholi Sub Region to enable their clients to access treatment during the lockdown.
Essentially, all HIV positive persons are promptly enrolled on the lifetime antiretroviral medication to support their immune system from being compromised by the virus.