Over 200 Ugandans acquire HIV everyday: Health insurance still a dream

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By witnessradio.org Team

Uganda registers 230 HIV new infections everyday while 76 people die of AIDS related diseases every single day.

The prevalence rate of HIV among adolescent girls has also grown to 9 percent,

This is contained in a report from an assessment carried out by NGO forum on Uganda’s progressive in attaining the set sustainable development goals. The worrying trend has been attributed to fear by most Ugandans to test due to stigma and discrimination.

Assessors from the NGO forum believe that there is need for government to expedite the operationalization of the HIV/AIDS Trust Fund to increase financing for HIV/AIDs programming.

They also contend that government deploys qualified counsellors in hospitals to handle issues of stigma and discrimination among the infected and affected by HIV/ AIDs.

“There is need to also to increase supply of ARVs and expedite the supply of viral load testing machines to the districts…” The report reads.

Uganda is not only lagging behind in the fight against HIV, despite a reduction in the number of children dying during birth and maternal mortality, the country is running below the target.

According to the Uganda Demographic Health Survey 2016, between 2011 and 2016, Uganda’s maternal mortality ratio declined from 438 to 336 deaths per 100,000 live births. There is also marked improvement in pregnant women attending four or more antenatal care visits from 48% in 2011 to 60% in 2016 and an increase in the number of births in health facilities from 57% in 2011 to 73% in 2016.

However the reduction in maternal mortality is below the NDPII target of 119 maternal deaths per 100,000 and 2030 agenda target of 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

This has been blamed on inadequate resource allocation and equipment of the health sector especially to maternal and neonatal health; socio-cultural issues and poor supervision of the health services by the District Health Officers.

NGO forum now recommends that the government improves emergency preparedness, address the problem of drug stock outs and equip health centers with personnel and equipment.

Relatedly, the infant and under 5 mortality rates have declined from 54/1000 and 90/1000 to 43/1000 and 64/1000 live births respectively. Uganda has also made strides towards reduction in stunting in children under the age of 5 years from 33% to 29%. 55% of children aged 12-23 months have received all the basic vaccines.

In the survey, assessors recommended that the National Health Insurance Bill 2007 be implemented with the issuance of a certificate of financial implication by the Ministry of Finance to ensure Universal Health Coverage.

They also advise that government expedites the institution of the National Health Insurance Scheme to improve access to health care services for all.