Uganda Today: This amazing story about an innovative Fort Portal HIV+ woman who ventured into a male dominated trade of ridding a motorcycle to transport passengers, has been adapted from Kampala Media Tv for publication here.
Written by Wesibade Halima
My Struggles Gave Me Purpose During The Lock Down.
Asiimwe Margaret, a 40 years old a mother of three and a Boda-boda rider in Fort Portal city who has lived on HIV Antiretroviral treatment for 18 years narrates how she almost lost her now 18 years old daughter to hunger, an incident that made her a community service provider to persons living with HIV during the lock-down. HIV Aids treatment medicine can be quite deadly if poorly administered but even worse with a poor diet/hunger yet hunger had become a household name during the COVID lockdown for almost two years, “during the lock-down my daughter also on HIV treatment collapsed as a result of taking medication on an empty stomach, it was very traumatizing to see my daughter in that condition hence I requested for help from the public and the assistance people gave me was overwhelming.” Margaret narrates
Margret says that the first lock-down came with a lot of challenges among which was the very long treks to the health facility whenever they had an appointment to pick their medication since all transportation means were banned from operations then she chose to deliver Hiv Antiretroviral drugs for the people in her area as a way of giving back to society for the support they had offered her when she needed it the most.
(photos of Margaret with daughter with drugs and a close-up of Margaret)
According to HIV care givers failing to take medication makes the drugs resistant, causing complications and in the worst scenario sudden death of the recipient, yet during the lockdown many Ugandans especially in the rural areas were unable to reach their health center’s due to lack of transportation in consequence missing Routine appointments, this made people like Margaret very resourceful to their communities.
(photo of Margaret at hospital waiting)
Before the lock down Asiimwe depended on Boda-Boda riding as her only means of income generation but the lock-down took her thoughts of the box and she started farming as an option after noticing that the Boda boda industry in fort portal had been engulfed by many young men in her community who had not gone back to school, she chose to put up projects that could generate her more income like raring of rabbits and growing vegetables for sale.
(photo of Margaret in her garden )
Up to today Margaret is very grateful to everyone who held her hand when she could not fend for her family, today she and her family live without worrying about tomorrow.
(Photos of Margaret with a customer on her bike, a wide angel in her garden holding eggplant ,and one on stage with her fellows)