KAMPALA, Uganda – In the month of August 2020, the Legal Team at Uganda Network on Law, Ethics, and HIV/AIDS (UGANET) concluded mentorship sessions in North Eastern Uganda including a dialogue with Persons Living with HIV (PLHIV) clients in Nakapiripirit. This marked a week-long program that saw the team traverse Napak, Moroto and Nakapiripirit districts among others.
The sessions were part of a bigger project that has seen different teams from UGANET traverse all the six regions in the country, while meeting with PLHIV and duty bearers while also offering different services from the teams like legal aid, training, and sensitization, among others.
In one of the Art Centers, Tokora Health Center III in Nakapiripirit that has 689 clients as a result of stigma/discrimination and more recently COVID 19, there are only 78 active clients. This means that 611 clients are living without any healthcare services!
In a legal aid outreach by UGANET with paralegals at St Francis Health Center III in Aria district, issues of discrimination were also found to be rampant in the area.
The team managed to support a total of 28 clients (24 women and 4 men) and reached 90 persons through sensitization.
Due to the political ambiance that has been going on as a result of the election year, the team faced a challenge with implementation. A considerable number of people in the communities were not following the SOPs and were more interested in following the rallies and campaigns than joining the meetings to have dialogue.
This included the duty bearers like police and local authorities who had a duty to protect the campaigners.
However, the teams managed to hold successful meetings attended by many PLHIV.
Call to Action
UGANET calls upon all relevant authorities, duty bearers and the general community to consider PLHIV during this time and provide avenues for accessing drugs and healthcare for the wellbeing of the entire communities in which they live.