Thursday, 17 September 2015

Mpigi appeals to government for more CD4 Count Machines

People Living with HIV and AIDS in Mpigi have appealed to the government of Uganda to give them more CD4 count machines. This took place during a stakeholders meeting held at 

Mpigi district main hall to come up with solutions on clotting of CD4 test blood samples.
Fred Sewanyana, Secretary of Mpigi Network of AIDS Service Organisations, said that clients from 20 ART sites depend on one machine based at Mpigi health center IV.
Sadat Ssemand, Laboratory Technician explaining the need for more CD4 machines. Photo|Esther Namirimu

“The number of clients in ART care who need to get their CD4 tests before they can access antiretroviral therapy is overwhelming and many times blood samples clot before they are tested,” he added.

Sadat Ssemanda, Laboratory Technician at Mpigi HC IV, said that on average there are 100 blood samples to be tested for CD4 count but the machine can only work on 50 samples daily.

“The huge number of blood samples overwhelms the hub which results into blood clotting due to failure to run all the CD4 tests within the required 24 hours,” he added.

Ssemanda noted that the sometimes blood clots due to poor transportation, or lack of lack electricity at health facility and requested the government give the district more machines.

Mpigi Woman Member of Parliament

David Ssebisubi, Program Coordinator of Muduma Health Initiative Association, said that the whole of Mpigi district has only two machines; one at Mpigi health center IV and Nkozi hospital and one mini CD4 machine at Buwama health center III.

“At Buwama health center III, 40 clients take CD4 test but the mini machine can only do 9-15 tests per day. All remaining samples are transferred to Mpigi health center,” he added.

Ssebisubi said that if more machines are given to the district more people will get their CD4 counted and get eligible for ART.

Siana Nakazibwe, Finance Manager of the Uganda Network of AIDS Service Organizations, advised the participants to use the opportunity of the political period and start a strong campaign so that they can get the machines.
Ms. Siana Nazibwe Finance Manger of UNASO together with Ms. Cathy Nanyanzi(purple t-shirt) advised people of Mpigi to utilize the political period to get the machines from politicians. Photo|Esther Namirimu

“You can make those politicians pledge to contribute to buying the machines,” she advised.

According to the Health Management Information System report (July 2014-March 2015) the number of clients on ART care in Mpigi increased from 7051 to 7777.
Those initiated on ART increased by 1514 from 6063. Out of those active on ART only 3467 were tested for CD4.

The report also indicates that HIV prevalence rate of Mpigi is at 8% way above the national rate of 7.3%; with people living in Buwama, Nkozi, Kammengo and Mpigi town council being at a high risk of getting HIV because most people are risk like fisher folks and trucker drivers live in these areas. 

BY Esther Namirimu|Communications Officer of UNASO.

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