TASO starts mobile ARV clinics for corporate workers

Gulu Regional Blood Bank staff conduct a blood screening and donation exercise at Gulu Main Market recently: PHOTO BY DAVID OKEMA

The Aids Support Organization-TASO an organisation that provides services to HIV/AIDS victims in Uganda has started a mobile antiretroviral treatment service in Gulu Municipality to cater for corporate workers who fear queuing with the ordinary person living with the HIV virus.

Mr Michael Ochwo, the centre programme manager TASO Gulu office, said they have come out with the mobile ART service to enable HIV-positive people who fear to access medical services alongside other ordinary citizens due to fear of stigma, to access ART in confidentiality at their convenience.

He said this during a stakeholder’s coordination services meeting at Gulu district health boardroom on Monday, noting that the programme will be piloted in Gulu Municipality.

Mr Ochwo also encouraged stakeholders to take concern with their colleagues’ health at work places and invite them to enroll for the mobile ART clinic.

Ochwo explained that the programme will require a client to pay Shs300,000 every year, payable on a quarterly basis to facilitate transport and other fares of the ART personnel.

Ochwo said unless such service is in place, corporate people will keep dying of HIV/AIDS without access to ART yet the service is readily avaiolable.

William Onyai the Gulu District health educator concurred that many corporate class of workers, even when they know they are HIV-positive, tend to fear mixing with the common people for fear of stigma.

He also advised stakeholders to involve themselves in sporting activing like swimming and football which is recommendable for physical fitness.

Meanwhile a monthly report indicates that 54 new HIV cases were registered in the month of February 2018 at TASO Gulu center bringing to a total of 7,878 HIV positive patients under care and treatment at the organization.

The report also indicated that 457 females living with HIV/AIDS suffers Gender Based Violence (GBV) in the forms of physical, sexual, psychological, and denial of sexual rights.  While 190 male clients are victims of GBV in  the categories of physical violence, psychological and denial for sex, leading with 122 cases across northern region.

Ochwo noted that TASO receives a sizeable number of clients for psycho-social support on many cases of GBV citing loss of trust in the judicial system in Uganda.




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