Patients living with HIV and Aids in Kakamega County are lamenting of being neglected during the countries fight against corona virus pandemic.
The patients drawn from over 60 words said that they are struggling to access Antennal virus drugs vduring this period the country is fighting the coronavirus pandemic.
They have said that devolved unit has done very little to ensure the presiders commodity is availed to them.
Speaking in Navakholo where they were being sensitized on the importance of taking drugs on time, they said since March last year, when the virus was reported in the country the government has put intense focus on the fight against the disease forgetting those living with the virus.
According to Naliaka, not her real name who has been living with the virus for the last ten years said currently they face challenge of shortage of drugs such as septrine, which are essential in suppressing their viral load.
In order to remedy the insufficient antiretroviral drugs, patience living with HIV have now resorted to the use of herbal concoctions.
“We are facing shortage of Antennal virus drugs. They haven’t been received from the imported countries, we are told whenever we request for the prescriptions.” Said Naliaka.
“Sometimes you are advised to change your medicine and use those that are available which come with side effects such as itchy skin and fatigue.
While the usage of herbal medicine acts as a relief to many of them it poses a serious danger as this herbal medicine are not verified at the government laboratories.
“Whenever you skip a drug your viral load increases, some of us use herbal medicines such as mwaraubaini and ‘aloe vera’ to reduce the severity”. Said Wafula not his real name.
However, the use of these traditional medicines has been described as a risk factor for victims warned against using both drugs at a time.
“Herbal medicines are stronger compared to the other ones, for a patient to use it at the same time it prevents the real drug (ARV’s) from working and is therefore at a risk of increasing his viral load.” Said Jane Makhokha a peer counselor at Butonga Health Center.
Wanjala from Likuyani even the few hospitals that have those Antennal virus drugs. many patience doesn’t go due to fear of being victimized when they get to the hospital.
“Before corona virus, it was so easy we used to go to the hospital go see the doctor and pick your medicine but now days someone passes through a lot of testing which is hectic, and whenever you are found with the symptoms purported to be that of corona you are taken to quarantine. We now prefer to stay at home and seek medical services from our herbal medicine doctors”. Said Wanjala.
According to the Ministry of Health, those living with underlined conditions such as asthma and diabetes among other diseases are at a greater risk of contracting the corona virus due to their low immunity.
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