Lwengo District since its inception in 2010 a lot has been done but the prevalence is still high due to various reasons . Lwego district lies on a highway with many hot sports like Kinoni ,Mbirizi ,kyazanga ,katovu and many new upcoming towns like kiwangala ,Ndeeba in Ndagwe and many others .The district prevalence is 7.2% as compared to 6.2 at national level and 8% regional prevalence .
Key drivers fueling the infection in Lwengo District:
Apart from its location along the highway and in the central 1 region where the prevalence is highest (8%); Lwengo has the following drivers:
Key populations (Commercial sex workers, Men having sex with men, trackers), high poverty levels, Low literacy levels, Gender r based violence and Low condom use
A total of 14710 people have been identified as HIV positive and this forms 83.4% of the expected total Out of these 13077 have been initiated on ARVs which is 88.4% while viral suppression is 91.4%
Strategies employed to attain results include;
• HIV testing using the facility and community models
• Provision of ARVS using similar models as for the HIV testing
• Adherence support to newly identified clients by peers
• EMTCT service provision by all accredited sites
• Supporting accreditation of new sites
• Assisted partner notification outreaches condom use provision and promotion.
• More to that there has been provision of preventive skills to the young girls through the Dreams project
• Conducting awareness days (WORLD AIDS DAY),
• Functionalizing HIV coordination structures up to sub county level
• Using quality improvement approaches to improve service delivery plus research as well as logistics support to facilities
• Family planning has also been provided to reduce the HIV exposed babies produced
As described above ,83.4% clients have been identified and of these 88.4% have been initiated on ART as well as 91.4 % of those clients initiated on ART have achieved viral suppression .More ART sites have been accredited to a tune of 16 sites from the 7 in 2010 ,fuctionalized coordination structures realized ,pediatric and adolescent clinics established ,counselors have been recruited to support clients adherence ,and there is improved infrastructure though much is still needed
Regardless of the above achievements; there are challenges which include
Delayed funding, poor infrastructure, lack of PLHA network structure and office, poor retention in care low uptake of PMTCT services, sub optimal adherence, and inadequate drugs and supplies plus low male involvement
Future plans
• Establishing HIV coordination office and that of PLHA network
• Establishing a youth Centre at every health facility
• Educating the community about the need for PMTCT and ART In general
• Lobbying for renovations and construction of counseling rooms
• Come up with a retention strategy for optimal clinical outcomes
• Involving men in all service delivery levels
By Namwanga Edwig
Senior Clinical Officer/ HIV focal Person