As PIUMA's Hima-VCT verges on re-opening this week, Clinical Officer, Juma Nzige, has written this assessment of members' health statuses after more than three months without an operational Voluntary Counselling and Treatment center.
The Hima-VCT was created over a year ago with the mission of providing members with free services, which the Bulongwa Lutheran Hospital, despite its mandate, was not offering.
The VCT was shut down on March 20th of this year when the nurses, temporarily borrowed from the Bulongwa Lutheran Hospital, were called back due to staff shortages at the hospital. Concerned about members' access to their government-promised free treatment, PIUMA hired Juma Nzige in April to prepare the Hima center for re-opening. Last week, ten District Health Officials visited the facility and deemed everything to be in good order, the site ready to open upon the arrival of a nurse from Ikonda Hospital later this week.
Here is the report from PIUMA's Clinical Officer:
- The health status of our members is a primary issue of concern. I have been caring for them day and night to help tackle their health problems.
- Currently, I have been looking at their CTC cards to assess their compliance with the medication regimen and checking that their last CD4 count was done. It is encouraging when their compliance is good, however, the majority aren't going for the CD4 counts, sometimes even for a couple of months. I think the problem is all about lack of information, support, and about the benefit of regularly checking their CD4 counts.
- In that case, I plan to commence a routine examination on CD4 counts. Under this program, the overall condition of our members is going to get much better.