Some people with HIV/AIDS living on Nkombo Island in Rusizi District say that they are worried that they will no longer be provided with the same benefits as sosoma, saying that if the government does not intervene, their lives will be in danger as they will be able to take anti-retro-viral drugs for HIV/AIDS.
These villagers say that are worried that they are no longer receiving the support they were given, including sosoma saying that their lives will be in grave danger if the government will not help them.
They say that the situation started getting worse for them since their supporters started to help them based on the Ubudehe categories, and they say that the way they are being helped there is inequality, and that they do not know who has the biggest problem than others.
These people with HIV are found in different categories, showing that they used to be given sosoma powder, and that the powder helped them because their antidepressants were weakening the body, and some even started giving it up because they had been without support for almost two years.
Among those who lack proper nutrition living with VIH/AIDS, they are in different ubudehe categories including children and the oldest ones.
One among those with VIH/AIDS living on this Island who is in range of 50-60 years old said that even though the government has tried its best to help people with VIH/AIDS to have better life, it should go on supporing them in providing them support diety that is seen to hard to find for those with VIH/AIDS who live at Nkombo Island.
“It simply came to our notice then. Just by helping us and advocating for us, you can tell the government to at least get us back the sosoma because it was good for us. ” Said the old man
According to Francois Xavier Ntakirutimana, Director of Nkombo Health Center, of the more than 21,000 people living on Nkombo Island, there are currently 107 people living with HIV. Because even though they are hungry they do not spread the infection very much.
“We are very grateful to those who have HIV, because they are involved in preventing the spread of new infections. In the last year 2021, there were only three new cases of infection on Nkombo Island, which is due to the fact that there are no prostitutes on the island. ” Said Francois Xavier Ntakirutimana
Francois Xavier Ntakirutimana, Director of Nkombo Health Center
Dukuzumuremyi Anne Marie, the Vice Mayor of Rusizi District in charge of Social Welfare, where Nkombo Island is located, said that the issue of social support for people living with HIV was well-known, as Sosoma used to give it to them in the stock they had and could not find another , however, that the administration is still negotiating with its partners to help them so that in the near future they hope to be given that support again.
“Currently, the Gihundwe Health Center, which has been monitoring them, has issued another request, and has ordered additional support and will be available to those in need soon,” She said.
Referring to those living with HIV and discontinuing their treatment due to lack of support, she said they are going to continue advocacy so that those who quit had it back in order to continue to protect their lives.
Dukuzumuremyi Anne Marie, Vice Mayor of Rusizi District
Rusizi district now has about 5400 people living with HIV while on Nkombo Island the number of people living with HIV is 0.03% of the population of Nkombo island with 21636 people.
Most of the people living on Nkombo Island are subsistence farmers working on the shores of Lake Kivu and farming, only to express their concern about having immortal forested land, which is the root cause of the poor living conditions on the island, despite some of the government’s ongoing efforts to include infrastructure that will help them lift themselves out of poverty, including schools, clinics and electricity.
By Carine KAYITESI