HIV/AIDS is one of the greatest dangers facing Africa and its children today. In 2016, 1 million people died of AIDS-related illnesses. The vast majority of people living with HIV are located in low and middle income countries, with an estimated 25.5 millions living in sub-Saharan Africa. Among these, 19.4 million are living in East and Southern Africa.
Whilst Uganda has fought are relatively successful campaign against HIV/AIDS, and the number of those infected is decreasing, the social, economic and personal consequences of the virus are still devastating. It has killed approximately one million people and significantly reduced life expectancy. AIDS has depleted the country’s labor force, reduced agricultural output and food security and weakened educational and health services. In 2016, an estimated 1.4 million people were living with HIV and an estimate of 280,000 Ugandans died of AIDS-related illnesses. Around 33% of adults living with HIV and 53% of children living with HIV in Uganda were still not on medication by 2016.......
KICVOP works with a number of these HIV positive children within the local community. The selected children receive regular checks from KICVOP health care workers to ensure that their medication is being taken properly and that their living conditions are adequate. A transportation service to and from the hospital is also provided, as many families cannot afford to transport themselves to the hospital to collect their medication. With the HIV/AIDS scourge ravishing Uganda’s population, and poverty and lack of education about the virus on the rise, such services are absolutely essential not only to assist those that have already been devastated by the virus, but to create awareness to prevent the virus from spreading further.
HIV drains energy and life from its victims. Poverty and all the struggles around just being able to survive in the most basic sense are overwhelming. The added burden of dealing with transportation for treatment and follow up can be too much, resulting in failure to attend appointments and lack of follow up in the treatment plan. Irregular treatment and the loss of treatment follow up compromises the entire treatment plan and has an overall negative impact on the entire service package offered to beneficiaries through KICVOP.
The HIV project operated by KICVOP requires regular transportation of beneficiaries to the various free clinics for their treatment. It is a challenge to maintain regular treatment and follow up on the HIV positive KICVOP beneficiaries. In the past, transportation has been hired to manage the task. However, even with attempts to coordinate treatment dates to optimize client benefit and keep transportation costs in check, the transportation expense had remained too high to be reasonably handled by KICVOP at its present revenue level.
A van owned by KICVOP Uganda since 2018 eliminated costs other than fuel (gas) for the transportation of our beneficiaries. The van is also available for other organizational transportation needs, further reducing the overall cost of vehicle hire for the organization in general.