UGANDA: ARV targets achieved ahead of schedule
[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
KAMPALA, 20 July (PLUSNEWS) - Uganda has achieved its targets for the number of HIV-positive people accessing anti-retroviral (ARV) therapy six months earlier than anticipated, officials said on Wednesday.
"We were supposed to have 60,000 people on ARVs by the end of the year. We currently have about 65,000, which means that we are six months ahead of our schedule," Paul Kaggwa, spokesman for the health ministry, said.
Kaggwa attributed the achievement to international support from the Global Fund for HIV/AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis, the UN World Health Organization, and other international partners.
"This has enabled us to procure ARVs and distribute them to a wide range of people," he said.
He added that the general improvement in infrastructure, which had increased access to health services, and capacity building, which had allowed more health centres to administer the drugs, had also contributed to the success.
If more resources continued to come into the country, Kaggwa said, Uganda would be able to triple the number of people accessing ARVs by the end of 2006.
Some 120,000 Ugandans are estimated to be in critical need of the life-prolonging drugs.