RISKY

HIV patients in Jomvu skip medication for lack of food

MP Badi Twalib says at least 70 of them have already defaulted, which puts their lives at risk.

In Summary

• Jomvu subcounty AIDS Control Council coordinator Nelly Tindel said most members of the 20 active support groups in the region are among the hardest hit by Covid-19.  

• MP Badi Twalib said people living with HIV must eat healthy diets to be able to fight the virus.

Jomvu MP Badi Twalib and Jomvu SCACC coordinator Nelly Tindel at Badi's residence on Saturday.
FOOD FOR AID: Jomvu MP Badi Twalib and Jomvu SCACC coordinator Nelly Tindel at Badi's residence on Saturday.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

Persons living with HIV in Jomvu subcounty are defaulting on their medication because of lack of food, health experts have said.

Jomvu subcounty National AIDS Control Council coordinator Nelly Tindel on Saturday said most members of the 20 active support groups in the subcounty are among the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“They are hard hit. Movement is restricted, their businesses have been affected and some of them are defaulting on medication because they lack food,” Tindel said.

Jomvu MP Badi Twalib said people living with HIV must eat healthy diets to be able to fight the virus in their bodies.

 

Badi said at least 70 of the victims have already defaulted, which puts their lives at risk.

“A chat with Nelly revealed that this is mainly because many of them cannot access the medication and food because their businesses have been negatively affected by the pandemic.

“This made me run up and down this country and fortunately I was able to convince Fujita [Mitsubishi Corporation] to help,” the MP said.

Jomvu MP Badi Twalib receives food from Fujita representative at his residence.
FOOD AID Jomvu MP Badi Twalib receives food from Fujita representative at his residence.
Image: JOHN CHESOLI

The two spoke at Badi’s residence when Fujita, which is working on the Dongo Kundu bypass project donated foodstuff to the support groups. More than 150 families affected benefitted from the aid.

Badi said most of the people living with HIV suffer in silence because of the fear of stigmatisation.

“They feel that when they come out they will be looked at with a different eye. So they prefer staying silent and this affects their socio-economic lives,” he said.

The lawmaker encouraged HIV positive people not to tire in taking their medicine, saying it also keeps them from suffering major Covid-19 attacks.

“When the viral load becomes too high, the body’s immune system is greatly weakened. This is what Covid-19 wants so as to attack,” Badi said.

He noted that Covid-19 is more harmful to people living with pre-existing conditions.

Fujita public relations officer Beatrice Mbeyu said the company is ready to help.  

“We are trying to alleviate the impact of Covid-19. We are not in a position to help everyone, so we will help in our small way whenever we can,” Mbeyu said. 

She said the vulnerable people in Jomvu need those who can hold their hands during the pandemic.

People living with HIV come together in support groups to encourage, educate and give each other their experiences to inspire hope amongst each other.

The support groups meet regularly to exchange ideas and give each other support.

This not only helps them accept their conditions but also encourages them to deal with the virus.

(edited by o. owino)