Among other services, Mbarara Referral Hospital is one of the biggest government facility that boasts of tremendous move to improve the quality of life of people living with HIV.
As Uganda commemorates World HIV Day, Dr Celestine Barigye, the Mbarara Referral Hospital Boss expressed gratitude to the hospital’s HIV Clinic under the stewardship of Dr. Winnie Muyindike a Consultant Physician and Dr Denis Nansera, Consultant Pediatrician for the good job well done.
Addressing the media, Dr Barigye also a pundit in International Health (IH) noted that the hospital’s HIV Clinic accommodates close to 12000 clients of which 99% of them have attained viral load suppression.
For starters, viral load suppression means that a person living with HIV has less than 200 copies of the virus per milliliter of blood.
This further means that 99% of clients at MRRH have undetectable viruses meaning that such clients will not transmit HIV to their sexual partners.
Attaining the general viral load suppression of 99% according to Dr Barigye is a worth celebrating milestone.
He recognized the support of the American People through USAID Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital Strengthening Activity their goal is to have all clients in care virally suppressed.
“We attribute this success to the Ministry of Health and the American People through USAID Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital Strengthening Activity which has been and is still building the capacity of the healthcare system in Ankole region”, he says.
MRRH is currently supported by USAID to strengthen its capacity to implement a comprehensive HIV/AIDS, TB among other areas besides building the capacity of lower health centers in the region.
The above mentioned support has been translated to an improvement in healthcare service delivery among health facilities in the territorial jurisdiction of MRRH.
For instance , the recent District League Table indicate that Kiruhura topped the list of all districts in the country.
But, recent media reports which ranked Mbarara City second to Fort portal in HIV/AID prevalence worries leaders of health services.
In the past three years records show Mbarara recorded 1789 cases which among others Dr Barigye blamed it on low condom use, complacency among others which make the youth vulnerable to HIV.
However, he said that as the hospital with partner support they have laid down strategies such as improving coverage and quality of HIV prevention and testing services; including efforts to reduce gender-based violence (GBV) to tackle the vice.
He also underscored need to improvethe quality of HIV/AIDS, TB/TB-HIV care and strengthening the integration and delivery of selected Reproductive Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Services done at the hospital.
Halson Kagure, the Mbarara Referral Hospital Public Relations Officer reveals that they have embarked on behavioral change communication to sensitize the masses about HIV/AIDS through different media in the understanding language.
Currently HIV/AIDS prevalence rate in Uganda stands at 5.2% having it brought it down from 18% in 1980s, with a reduction of news infections to 52,000 from 94,0000 according to figures from Uganda Aids Commission.
Every 1st December Uganda joins the rest of the world to commemorate World HIV day.
This year’s theme rotate around under keeping communities at the center and the main celebrations took place in Rakai one of the districts ravaged by the pandemic in 1980s.