the story of Turyasingura Andrew Baylor Elma client from Kitagwenda in Western Uganda.
In the little-known village of Kyanihurira, Kitagwenda District in Western Uganda Nyabana Health center 3 serves over 200 clients on a clinic day. Among the many clients is Andrew Turyasingura. Turyasingura is a man with multiple challenges; He tested HIV positive 17 years ago, nearly lost sight in both his eyes only to be saved by a minor surgery recently, but he is living positively with a suppressed Viral load.
Turyasingura’s case is that of a mother-to-child transmission. His mother only discovered that she was infected after giving birth to Turyansigura. By then, the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission (PMTCT) services were hard to come by in remote areas like Kyanihurira. “His father died and I only came to know I was infected, 2 years after giving birth to my son” said his 41-year-old mother Tumushabe Sentrina.
Turyasingura however came to know of his status after he had been admitted with a painful eye infection. “I used to feel like there was sand and dust in my eyes but when I visited the hospital for an eye checkup, my mother also insisted that I should be tested for HIV, and results turned out POSITIVE,” said Turyasinguira who doubted this for almost 3 years since the eye issue had cleared.
At the nearby Ntara Health center, he was enrolled on ART, at the age of 3 and 2 years later, he was referred to Nyabana Health center 3 after Baylor introduced HIV services at the facility.
“Baylor has made it easier because we are now given drugs that could take us for four months at once” said Sentrina smiling. Turyasingura drooped out of school in P7 because his eyes could no longer support his sight, he also used to change schools due to stigma from fellow students. His recent attempt was to join mechanics workshop to learn motor vehicle repairs but still his site worsened the plight to work.
He says he is saving every little money he earns as a temporary casual laborer to buy a Boda motorcycle for business. “I know with good adherence I have many years to live, if God continues to give me good sight, I will work hard to support myself and my aging mother” he affirms.
Baylor- Uganda in consortium with IBC and WONETHA in, Kamwenge, Kitagwenda, Kyenjojo and other western Uganda districts aims to increase the proportion of PLHIV who know their HIV status to at least 95% by September 2023 and to achieve at least 80% coverage of high impact combination prevention interventions in the scale-up districts by 2023 among other things. By March 2022, there were 2,050 children and 4192 adolescents on ART with a viral load coverage and viral load suppression of 80% and 91% for children and adolescents respectively.
Turyasingura and his mother are part of the success so far achieved