Kabarole district has started implementing the Community Based Antiretroviral Treatment program for People Living with Aids.
The programme started this year in Rwimi Sub County after a three year research study carried out by Kabarole health department, Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) and the University of Alberta in Canada.
The community based antiretroviral treatment is aimed at helping people living with HIV/AIDS in rural areas to access antiretroviral treatment (ART).
In the past people living in rural areas, have been finding it difficult to get ART because of the long distances to hospitals which offer ART.
There are 22,400 people living with HIV in Kabarole district. The current HIV prevalence rate in the district is 11.6%.
According to statistics at the Kabarole district health department, there are 1,100 people infected with HIV in Rwimi Sub County and 450 are eligible for ART.
Rwimi Sub County was selected because the health centre III is not licensed to provide ARVs so the people with HIV/AIDS in the sub county had no option but travel a distance of 50 kilometers to the regional referral hospital in Fort Portal.
Under the programme, 44 volunteers were trained by the Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) in Fort Portal. The programme is being implemented in Rwimi trading centre and in Kakonga parish.
The volunteers deliver ARVs to the patient's home. They also counsel the patients and monitor the patient's reaction of the ART.
Ernest Kagoro a resident of Rwimi trading centre says that in the past, he was spending much money to get the drugs from Buhinga hospital.
Kagoro also says that he used to miss his dose because he lacked money for transport to collect the drugs.
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Deborah Baguma a resident of Rwimi town says that she is happy for the programme because she has managed to access to ARVs.
She however blames the volunteers for not returning to her home to monitor her condition after treatment.
Baguma says that she at times gets complications after getting treatment but there is no person to refer her to the hospital.
Dr. Mary Kiconco, the in-charge of JCRC at the regional referral hospital in Fort Portal says that the community based antiretroviral treatment will reduce on the congestion of patients who have been flocking the centre for treatment.
Dr. Joa Oketch Kabarole District Health Officer says that the programme will also roll out to the sub counties of Kasenda and Kichwamba, where there are no health centres providing ART