Uganda: HIV Patients Sue Government Over Lack of Septrin

28 November 2018

Kampala — A human rights organisation and two people living with HIV have sued government and the National Medical Stores (NMS) for alleged failure to supply public health centres with Septrin as one of the essential drugs for treatment of AIDS.

In the suit before the High Court, the Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) and individuals Ms Grace Akite and Mr Lawrence Kivumbi say there has been no supply of Septrin in several public health facilities since this year began.

They assert that government has the constitutional duty to take reasonable steps to ensure uninterrupted provision of Septrin to persons living with HIV/AIDS in all public facilities in Uganda including the applicants Ms Akite and Mr Kivumbi.

"There has been no supply of septrin for the months of March 2018 to August 2018 in health facilities including Lwamata Health Center III, Amach Heatlth Center IV in Kiboga and Lira District respectively where 2 and 3 applicants are registered to receive their medicines on a routine basis," the suit reads in part.

She asserts that septrin is the main drug used to treat and prevent a type of pneumonia called pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) and people living with HIV are at increased risk of getting PCP if their CD4 cell count falls below 200.

Ms Akite and Mr Kivumbi claim they have suffered psychological torture due to fear of imminent death and resistance to opportunistic infections as a result of their HIV/AIDS status in the event they cannot afford to purchase septrin from private health facilities.

They want court to order government and National Medical Stores to supply Septrine to all public health facilities with immediate effect and pay them general damages for violating their right to health care.

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