The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) has expressed worry over increasing reports that HIV/Aids patients are forced to queue to access ARVs at Ngabu Rural hospital in Chikwawa.
CHRR Advocacy coordinator, Fletcher Simwaka said lack of a standalone ART clinic at the facility undermines the privacy and dignity of the patients to access health services at a favorable environment.
This was revealed during an interface meeting which the organization held with duty bearers and service providers at Ngabu Rural hospital in the district.
Said Simwaka: “We indeed held an interface meeting with duty bearers as well as the service users especially health service users in Ngabu with an aim of addressing the challenges patients are facing in accessing ART treatment in the area. The activity was successful as it created a forum where duty bearers, communities came together to discuss issues and challenges as well as to find amicable solutions.”
According to Simwaka,there was a need to strive so that the rights of the people on ART are respected as there was no way ART patients would queue for the service.
Among others,during the interface meeting,the communities also outlined the challenges of drug shortage and under staffing as the major set back being faced by communities in accessing health services.
He however, commended a strong relationship between government and CHRR and stated a need to support government in the 2015/2020 National Strategic Plan where amongst them is the 90:90:90 HIV/AIDS initiative.
Chikwawa ART Coordinator, Mark Suzumire said construction of the new ART clinic at Ngabu Rural health centre is underway hopefully to be completed next year.
The interface meeting was attended by the councilor of the area, Chikwawa D.H.O and other government officials and stakeholders.
CHRR with financial support from Oxfam is carrying out the activity
“Enhancement of communities’ demand for equitable health services in T/A Kayembe, in Dowa district and T/A Ngabu in Chikwawa district. The main goal of the project is to promote a society where dignity for all men, women, boys and girls affected and infected by HIV and AIDS is upheld.