DRC silence on HIVAids threatens Ntoroko

Ntoroko. The reluctance of authorities in the neighbouring DR Congo to fight HIVAids is increasing the spread of the scourge in Ntoroko, the district HIVAids focal person has said.
Presenting a report during a stakeholders meeting organised by RideAfrica and Kabarole Research and Resource Centre at Kanara Landing Site last Thursday, Ms Judith Amanyire said there were no strategies in DR Congo side to fight HIV.
Ms Amanyire said people living with HIV in DR Congo cross to Uganda and spread the infection, adding that Congolese nationals also get HIVAids treatment from the Ugandan side.

“We as trained nurses are supposed to preserve life. We can’t leave the Congolese to die, we have to treat them because they even infect other Ugandans,” she said.
Ms Amanyire said the fish mongers and sex workers who operate at the border are the major careers.
Authorities and residents at the border say the DR Congo government has not looked at the fight against HIV Aids as a priority since some locals still believe that someone with HIV must have been bewitched.

Health services
Ntoroko has two health centre IIs, three health centre III and one district hospital. The district has a population of 66,422 people.
Out of these, at least 3,140 people are HIV positive and most of them are from the border sub-counties.
Mr Sam Muhumuza, the monitoring and evaluation officer at Ride-Africa, said they have opened outlets to supply condoms and they are carrying out extensive sensitisation, testing and counselling to supplement government efforts.

The chief administrative officer, Mr Davis Dembe Beyeza, said behaviour change among the residents of Ntoroko should change and government deter people from the neighbouring countries from seeking medical services from the district.
“The government should look at the districts at the border as vulnerable districts and increase funding in the health sector and also put laws that deter illegal immigrants who come and consume the Uganda’s health facilities,” he said.

editorial@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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