Friday July 25 2014

Struggling to stay on ARVs when poor

A room in Mark’s* house. A father of eight, he i

A room in Mark’s* house. A father of eight, he is currently jobless, making it hard for him to provide food for his family or get transport to go pick his medication. He therefore has to walk to the health centre to get drugs. Photo by Tae-gyun Kim 

By Tae-Gyun Kim

Small rooms, humidity, smells, disorganised clothes, and people. These are the things that we found when we went to interview three families living with HIV/Aids.

Their ages, appearances, and genders were different, but one thing was common, their living environment.

These families were financially constrained. Most of the adults were jobless or did not have a monthly income.

This meant that they had no transportation to access ARV treatment, and some could not even afford to have regular meals.

The Namugongo Fund for Special Children is a community-based organisation that helps these people living under such hard circumstances.

It was originally established to help educational improvement of children and students’ by providing breakfast, dinner, and after school activities.

However, it also has links to various health centres which give ARV treatment to people living with HIV/Aids. It provides counsellors who visit them at their homes, checks on their health status, and counsels them.

But they also show how ARVs have managed to give them a better life and how they press on each day, despite the circumstances.

*Names of the patients have been hidden to
protect their identity