By Elias Hakizimana
Aids Healthcare Foundation (AHF) launched a new clinic at Muhoza health center in Muhoza sector of Musanze district today in line with strengthening HIV/Aids health care services.
The clinic will be offering current services for HIV /AIDS patients including free tests, treatment and counseling for patients as well as mobilizing the rest of the community to have free test in order to reduce new infection.
Through her testimony, Liberatha Uwineza, 37, the mother of 2 children from Muhoza sector in Musanze shared her journey with the infection which she revealed at the second pregnancy, first test in five years ago.
“It was at my the second pregnancy that I got to know I was HIV Positive, at the 1st time of my pregnancy test, I was not strong enough to understand how I can be HIV positive, I was 37 kilogrammes weight, I was helped by health care providers and I respected drugs intake schedule. I gave birth to a daughter, and until now I am still taking the ARV,” said Uwineza.
She highlighted some challenges like lack of food which is the major for the patients, but thanking the project which supported them to live longer in that situation.
“We fortunately got a project to support with food, I later got colleagues with the same issue, whom we jointly supported each other to build our moral life, I am now 65 kilos weights, thanks to health care providers of Muhoza health center, at the moment I am among people who take ARV of three months due to respecting the schedule of ARV intake,” she noted.
She said that she has not stigma at the moment as she believes the patient is the one in the hospital’s bed; and she calls up on people to get tested in order to save their lives.
Speaking during the event, Dr Brenda Asiimwe Kateera, AHF-Rwanda Country Program Manager said AHF has so far assisted over 800,000 people in 39 countries worldwide Rwanda inclusive.
“Our goal is to provide healthcare for everybody regardless for their ability to pay,” said Kateera.
AHF is also celebrating 30 years of its existence worldwide and has been working in Rwanda 11 years ago since 2006.
It partners with government in 10 districts and 25 health centers. Particularly in Musanze district, AHF works with (Ruhengeri hospital and Muhoza Healh Center; plus seven civil society organizations.
Kateera said that AHF Rwanda will continue delivering health care services to reduce new HIV/AIDS infection through various initiatives including free test, free condoms availability, male circumcision, Treatment and counseling and advocacy among others.
Dr. Cynthia Davis, Board Chair AIDS Healthcare Foundation said that they will continue call up on the rest of the community to get free test of HIV/AIDS.
“I am happy to stand for AHF’s governance council to open the new clinic which will continue help AHV/AIDS positive people and others to get tested and assisted for health care services,” Davis said.
“Over 800,000 people are benefiting from the initiative worldwide and we will increase to over 2 million people, we can only do this by addressing the needs of the community, advocating for people who do not have a voice, and ensure AHV positive people have access to treatment and other supports.
We look forwards to being here for other 11 years through that partnership,” said Davis, adding that she has now 29 years advocating for effective health care services and support to such people worldwide.
According to Marie Claire Uwamariya, Musanze vice mayor in charge of social affairs, the new extended health care clinic will contribute a lot to care for human beings.
She confirmed that AHF has been working with Ruhengeri hospital since May, 2015 and appreciated their achievements which she said are contributing towards social economic development of the district.
Beyond health care services, patients also are facilitated with food (SOSOMA) which helps them increase energy especially when they are taking ARV Drugs.
This year, AHF donated health insurance to 1890 families in Muhoza, and 2067 health insurance in Ruhengeri hospital.
The foundation also supports Muhoza health center by paying monthly salary for 6 health care providers who assist HIV/AIDS patients and whoever seeking such services.
Musanze district has 15 sectors, 14 of them have health centers. Uwamariya requested AHF to help the district extend the laboratory which currently supports patients including those with HIV infection, giving reasons that it is risky to test patients with tuberculosis in the same laboratory where other people can be infected.
Uwamariya also requested for many condom kiosks around Musanze to reduce new HIV/Aids infection.
The total cost for the new health care clinic extension is Rwf 23million funds.
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