By Winnie Lydia Akullo
Lira—28, November 2020: As the fight to enhance health services in Lango sub region intensifies, USAID-RHITES Lango project in conjunction with the Ministry of Health has developed strategies to fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) and HIV stigmatization.
Speaking at the launch of the 16 Days of Activism against gender based violence, at Lillian Towers Hotel 27, November 2020, Dr. Pamela Donggo, the deputy Chief of Party in charge of technical aspect of the project, revealed that the campaign which will run from November 25 November to 10, December 2020, will focus on eliminating GBV since the sub-region has registered a high prevalence of GBV cases.
She also cautioned the communities to desist from stigmatising people living with HIV or those with disability, as this is also a form of emotional domestic violence. She called on spouses to support their significant other in cases of disability or positive living.
“Only 60% of the population access tests and not all start treatment due to the fear of being stigmatised in their different communities,” Dr Donggo said.
Dr Donggo also called on the different members who have embraced positive living in communities to start up groups where different individuals alternate to pick up their medications in a bid to save time and ease the process for those picking drugs. This she added will help fight the stigmatization aspect involved.
Similarly, Dr Gilbert Elijah Sangadi, a specialist in the HIV sector of the project, said they will be targeting mostly the orphans and the vulnerable who apparently are under the care of their guardians or relatives.
This, he says, will help prevent death from late diagnosis, especially as those with high risks will be tested. He added that new technologies are being embraced like the HIV self-testing, which employs the use of a saliva test kit, which is time saving and has made testing easy.
“This method has encouraged men to test as it can be used even in busy schedules, most women have taken them home, tested their husbands and returned the tests to the hospitals during antenatal”, he added.
Grace Auma Okello, the gender and youth inclusion officer at USAID RHITES Lango project, called on the public to use ‘a L.I.V.E.S formula’ which calls for “Listening empathetically, Inquiring for right information, Validating the information got, Ensuring safety of victims and Supporting them”.
This year’s campaign runs under the national theme “Orange the World! Safety and Wellness for Everyone!”
However, the Lango project will embrace a specific theme “Safety and Wellness for Everyone”, a call to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence, to help them achieve the set goals.