HIV-positive patients in Agago District are in a dilemma after the only CD4 count machine broke down.
The district health officer, Dr Emanuel Otto, said the machine broke down due to power surge.
“There is need to have better CD4 machines that can be able to handle more patients and the provision of solar in case there is power outage,” he said.
A CD4 machine carries out blood tests to establish the level of immunity against HIV/Aids in the body, enabling health personnel to determine whether a patient needs to start undergoing Anti-Retroviral treatment.
In Amuru District, patients have to book in advance in order to access the machine. Ms Alice Laguti, 39, said she has been taking Septrine for the past five years but her health is deteriorating. She said when she went to Anaka Hospital for a CD4 count, she was told the machine is over booked.
“I was told the machine has been booked already and yet I am not able to get the services elsewhere,” she said. Ms Laguti says, she has no transport to Lacor Hospital for the services.
The HIV/Aids focal person of Anaka Hospital, Mr Mark Odongkara , said the CD4 machine does not meet the demand of clients per day. ‘‘It can only work on 10 to 17 clients per day and clients needs to book before. Those who do not follow the procedures miss out,” he said. “The capacity of the machine is too low compared to the number of people who are in need of the services. This hinders the fight against HIV/Aids in the district,” he said.
In Gulu District, Mr John Luwa, the HIV/Aids focal person, said the CD4 machine in Awach Sub-county has no cartridge, while the one in Lalogi Health Center IV is down.
Dr John Mugeruwa from the Ministry of Health said the ministry is in the process of acquiring 280 CD4 count machines which have high capacity and will be introduced to all general hospitals.
Focus on Northern Uganda asks you to make donations so we could gather enough money to buy the much needed CD4 Machine which will enable them to carry out the routine check-up for the entire Northern Uganda. Thank you.
Catherine R. Kikonde