More Rwandans access HIV treatment–report
Rwanda has been named among the few countries that have attained universal access to antiretroviral therapy (ART’s) in a recently released Millennium Development Goals report 2012.
Ten countries, including three with generalised epidemics (Botswana, Namibia and Rwanda), have already attained universal access to Antiretroviral therapy and coverage varies by sex and age, as stated in the MDG’s 2012 report.
According to the report, this is defined as coverage of at least 80 per cent of the population in need of ART’s. MDG 6 has a goal of combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. The number of new infections has also continued to decline in the hardest hit regions.
Dr Sabin Nsanzimana, the Coordinator of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) Care and Treatment Department, said that Rwanda has managed to register universal coverage of Anti-retroviral treatment (ART) at 94 per cent from less than 30 per cent in the last 5 years.
“106,000 patients are on Anti-retroviral treatment. ARVs coverage is now more than 94 per cent, up from 30 per cent five years ago. This HIV treatment is given out free of charge, so every infected person in Rwanda should be having access to it,” he said.
The country also spends an estimated Rwf1 billion on HIV/Aids drugs every year.
The cost of anti-retroviral therapy varies from one patient to another although experts estimate the average cost of therapy at Rwf 12, 000 per patient.
According to the 2010 DHS report, 100 per cent of the population has knowledge of the HIV plight because of the universal awareness.
Most of the health providers who offer services for persons living with HIV are well trained; they give support and follow-up for HIV infected people, it said.
According to the MDG report, fewer people are becoming infected with HIV, with the decline in new infections happening faster in some countries than in others. Dr Nsanzimana, noted that there was an estimated 8,000 new infections in Rwanda down from 12,000 five years.
Of the 33 countries where new infections have fallen, 22 are in sub-Saharan Africa, the region most affected by the disease.
In 2010, globally, coverage was higher among women (53 per cent) than men (40 per cent). Among children in developing regions, coverage was lower among them than adults.
Contact email: maria.kaitesi[at]newtimes.co.rw