HIV Prevalence Among Expectant Mothers Declines In Kitgum

2368 Views Kitgum, Uganda

In short
The prevalence of human Immune deficiency Virus (HIV) in Kitgum district has registered a small decline according to latest data released this week. The data uses the indicator of expectant mothers tested during antenatal visits in the financial year 2013/2014 in the different health facilities in the district. It shows a decline from 9.5 percent in 2012/2013 to 7.0 percent in 2013/2014.

The prevalence of human Immune deficiency Virus (HIV) in Kitgum district has registered a small decline according to latest data released this week.
 
The data uses the indicator of expectant mothers tested during antenatal visits in the financial year 2013/2014 in the different health facilities in the district. It shows a decline from 9.5 percent in 2012/2013 to 7.0 percent in 2013/2014.
 
Patrick Kidega, the Kitgum District Biostatistician, says the data uses the World Health Organization (WHO) standard of those seeking antenatal care services because of consistency and reliability in seeking services from fixed centres.
 
According to Kidega, only 35.3 percent of adult population managed to test for HIV in 2013/2014 compared to a paltry 23.3 percent in 2012/2013.
 
At least six of the ten sub counties recorded some declines in prevalence while the most burdened sub county is Mucwini, where displaced persons still remain in camps due to bitter land tension.
 
The sub county has a prevalence of 8.3 percent, up from 7.7 percent in 2012/2013.  The data were collected from July 1st 2013 to June 30th 2014.
 
Namokora Sub County that had a prevalence of 34.4 in 2012/2013 banned all night discos among other strategies to bring the prevalence down to 7.6 percent in 2013/2014.
 
Thomas Ojok, the Kitgum district HIV/AIDS focal person, says the data was collected from all health facilities in the district.  He swiftly warned that the HIV prevalence data quality in the district is greatly affected by ‘multiple testing’ by the same people in different health facilities.
 
Ojok said their only hope is the national identity cards that will eliminate the capture of data multiple times.
 
He attributes the decline to robust mass sensitization, health camps and the mandatory testing of all pregnant women attending antenatal clinics.
 
In 2013, the ministry of health put the prevalence for Kitgum district at 8.4 percent. Kidega said the variation could have resulted from the difference in study period as their recent study considered the financial year, while that of the ministry of health considered the calendar year.
 
He said the other explanation could be a decline due to integrated approach the district has taken with partners in fighting the global scourge.
 
The data has been silent on the number of the dead and those put on antiretroviral treatment in the district.
 
President Yoweri Museveni told Parliament in June that the HIV/AIDS infections were increasing while the number of those dying from the disease is on decline, thanks to improved access to antiretroviral treatment.

 

About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.