A statement from Mildmay Uganda indicates that following the government of Uganda’s adoption of new WHO guidelines for provision of ART, Mildmay will be ready to provide care and treatment for more persons living with HIV/AIDS in sixteen districts of Central Uganda or Buganda region.
Catherine Ntabadde, the Spokesperson of Mildmay, said her organization in collaboration with the Ministry of Health through the Health Systems Strengthening Project, expects the number of patients receiving HIV care services and treatment from Mildmay and its supported health facilities in the 16 districts to increase significantly from the current 76.064 to 110, 000 when the new Ministry of Health guidelines are rolled out.
The 16 supported districts are; Buikwe, Bukomansimbi, Butambala, Gomba, Kalungu, Luwero, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Masaka, Mityana, Mpigi, Mubende, Nakaseke, Nakasongola, Sembabule and Wakiso.
At the end of March 2014, Mildmay supported 76, 064 People Living with HIV/AIDs with HIV care services. Of these, 57, 200 are on Anti-retrieval Therapy (ART) at Mildmay Uganda Lweza centre and in 178 health facilities in 16 supported districts of Central Uganda. Majority of those receiving ART (4,695) are children below 15 years.
Dr. Barbara Mukasa, the Executive Director at Mildmay says through the Health Systems Strengthening Project, Mildmay Uganda with Ministry Health are scaling up comprehensive HIV&AIDS prevention, care and treatment services in the 178 health facilities in Central Uganda.
She adds that Mildmay Uganda and other implementing partners are also increasing access of cancer screening services to HIV positive women. With the rolling out of the new Ministry of Health guidelines on ART, Mildmay Uganda expects more PLHIV to access HIV treatment in the 16 districts, according to Dr. Mukasa.
Mildmay says that up to 9, 017 HIV positive pregnant women were recently identified. 5, 981 of these received Option B+ from 142 supported facilities for eMTCT (Elimination of Mother to Child Transmission) services.
According to WHO guidelines adopted by Uganda, all persons with HIV, TB co-infection, all pregnant HIV positive women and children newly diagnosed with HIV will be put on ARVs.
The new guidelines also target putting all HIV+ persons with CD4 count below 500 on Anti-retro viral treatment.
The move will be seen as confirmation of the commitment by the American government towards creating an AIDS-free generation in Uganda.
Scott DeLisi, the United States Ambassador to Uganda has strongly advocated for more people to be enrolled for ART treatment, arguing that treatment is one of the most effective preventive weapons against HIV at the moment.
Experts say that putting as many people on ARVs reduces the viral load in an individual/population hence the chances of transmitting HIV to other people.
Mildmay Uganda says that as of 2014, it continued to support over 20, 000 Orphans and other Vulnerable Children (OVC) to access comprehensive services including education, psychosocial support, socio-economic strengthening, health, child protection, food and nutrition.
Through the same project, the supported districts have in the past three financial years since 2010 received Ushs 1, 571, 871, 041 as sub grants for refurbishing and remodeling health facility infrastructure like laboratories, pharmacy, patients’ waiting sheds. In addition, equipment like motor-bikes, computers and High Blood meters have been procured.