Accredited Treatment Centers Will Expand Antiretroviral Access in Uganda, Health Ministry Official Says
A total of 350 health centers across Uganda have been accredited to provide antiretroviral treatment in the country, Alex Ario -- an HIV/AIDS control officer at the Ministry of Health -- said Friday in an address to health program leaders, the New Vision/AllAfrica.com reports. The centers will allow more people to access treatment, Ario said. Forty-three centers were established this year across the country, with 37 of them based in rural areas, the New Vision/AllAfrica.com reports.
Ario reported that access to antiretroviral treatment among children remains limited, even though the ministry has seen success in providing antiretroviral access among adults. He said that nearly 140,000 children are living with HIV in Uganda and that as of June, about 13,000 of the 50,000 eligible children had enrolled in the ministry's antiretroviral program. Nearly 25,000 children contract HIV each year through mother-to-child transmission, and three-quarters of that population dies before age one because they are unable to access antiretrovirals, according to Ario. He added that "because most treatment sites are based in urban areas," access to treatment has not been widespread across the nation.
Grace Kisitu of the Baylor College of Medicine Children's Foundation Uganda said that the foundation is partnering with the health ministry to expand HIV/AIDS services to rural areas and has secured $25 million from CDC to provide technical support for expansion (Odongo, New Vision/AllAfrica.com, 12/9).