46 test positive during HIV/AIDS screening exercise in oil fields

Participants attend a public hearing session at Rwemisanga Village in Kyangwali Sub-county, Kikuube District on Wednesday. (Photo: John Kibego)

Forty-six people who were among the thousands who underwent HIV/AIDS screening in Kikuube District have tested positive to the virus.

The exercise that followed a one year sensitisation campaign saw the 46 initiated on treatment, according to John Vaitah Isingoma, the Kitara Development Initiative (KITADI) Executive Director-the campaign organisers.

Isingoma told Kazi-njema News that 3,036 people voluntarily tested for the virus in the exercise that was supported by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC)-an oil company operating in the area.

With the project nearing its end, Isingoma re-echoes the need for stakeholders to save more time and expand the geographical scope to prevent the impact of emerging health issues due to the continued human immigration on Lake Albert shores.

He cited Ebola in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Hepatitis B and the latest yellow fever outbreak in Buliisa District as health threats that need urgent address before they spiral out to the population.

William Kato, the Nsonga B landing site chairperson said both the campaign and exercise have enabled people to know their sero status.

However, he called for more sensitisation about the HIV/AIDS scourge given the increasing cross border trade-instigated-movements.

Background view of fishing villages near Kingfisher oil field in Kyangwali Sub-county, Kikuube District.
(Photo: John Kibego)

CNOOC injected about $75,000 about Shs285m for campaign implementation in Kyakapere, Kyabasambu, Nsunzu, Kiina and Nsonga among other villages in Kyangwali Sub-county, Kikube District.

Other beneficiaries included residents along the oil feeder pipeline from Kingfisher oil field to the proposed oil refinery area in Hoima district.

The CNOOC Uganda Ltd Communications Officer, Amina Bukenya said the project was part of their efforts to minimise the negative social impacts of oil activities in their area of operation.

There has been population growth in the Albertine Basin since the discovery of commercially viable oil quantities in 2006. People flock the area in search of employment and business opportunities related to the industry.  

HIV/AIDS has remained among the leading health challenges in Uganda since the 1980s despite numerous efforts to fight it.

Isingoma about HIV/AIDS
Bukenya about partnership

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