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Connecting People and Ideas for Integrated Development

Continuous ARV Supply and HIV/AIDS Services Demanded by LINKAGES-supported CSO Coalition

For more than a year, the supply of anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs in Hoima District Referral Hospital has been irregular, forcing people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWAs) to go for periods without treatment.

In response to this situation, Joint Efforts for Rural Development (JEFORD) mobilized HIV/AIDS-related civil society organizations (CSOs) in Hoima District to form an HIV/AIDS coalition to advocate for an increase in the district HIV/AIDS budget to ensure that the district could procure a continuous supply of ARV drugs and consistently provide related HIV/AIDS services.

The coalition presented a petition to the Speaker of Hoima District and the Chairperson of the Social Services Committee on April 4, 2010. Specific concerns raised by the coalition included: intermittent delivery of anti-retroviral therapy (ART)/prophylaxis drugs from national medical stores in Kampala to Hoima District Referral Hospital and Health Center IVs, long periods of absence of ART/prophylaxis drugs, shortage of testing kits, limited access to preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services for expectant mothers, and stigma and limited social support to PLWAs and their families.

One immediate result of the coalition's petition was that the District Health Officer was required to travel to Kampala to pick up the district's ARV drugs from the National Medical Stores directly. JEFORD will continue to monitor the provision of ARV drugs to Hoima District so that PLWAs receive the services promised to them. The Coalition will also share updates with the larger CSO community. JEFORD is one of the CSOs that received training under the USAID/Strengthening Democratic Linkages in Uganda (LINKAGES) activity is providing ongoing support to the coalition through its mentoring program for local CSOs to carry out engagement and advocacy activities.