People Living With HIV in Salima, especially in the remotes parts of the district will no longer travel long distances to get treatment at the district’s central hospital as they can now access antiretroviral drugs in the health centres close to them.
Making a statement on Thursday during a District HIV-Aids joint review meeting, the DHO Florence Bwanali said in the period July 2011- June 2012, her office has succeeded in establishing ART centres in 13 of 14 health centres scattered across the district.
“One of the major achievement in the year ending is that we are now able to provide ART services in 13 of our 14 health centres, and we hope the remaining centre will begin to give the services as soon as it is assessed,” said Bwanali.
Bwanali observed that expansion of the ART services from the District hospital to the rural health centres has helped them a lot in bringing the treatment closer to people.
“Previously the ART services were only available at the district hospital and people had to travel long distance to access it, now this is over and we are sure that everybody who needs the service is now able to access it, “said Bwanali.
The DHO disclosed that with the inclusion of health centres in providing ARVs , the district was now reaching 10250 patients with ART treatment.
“The rise in number of patients accessing ARV’s is largely because of our expansion in coverage,” said the DHO.
On the overall progress of HIV-Aids mitigation and preventions activities that took place in the year under review, the District Aids Coordinator (DAC) Smith Mnenula told the meeting that lack of reporting by some organization is hindering monitoring of activities.
“It is unfortunate that some CBO and local NGOs that receive funding from National Aids Commission (NAC) and other agencies are not reporting in time or fail to report at all, this is affecting monitoring of the activities and resources used,” said Mnenula.