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Joyce’s story – empowering disabled clients with services in rural communities

Joyce’s story – empowering disabled clients with services in rural communities

Joyce Auma, 25, is a business administration graduate currently working as a data clerk with Gulu Women with Disabilities Union.

The union has partnered with Reproductive Health Uganda to extend sexual and reproductive health neighbouring districts in Acholi.

Joyce, who lost the use of her legs in childhood, is one of the women with disabilities that normally receive services at Gulu Clinic.

“I found out about RHU because they are our partners at Gulu Women with Disability Union. I first came to the clinic to test for HIV and other STIs. We also receive their other services like family planning and cancer screening to people with disabilities.”

“The first time I came here I was warmly welcomed. They’re very good at talking to the youth. Though the place was new for me, I was given service as if it was not my first time.” Says Joyce. “Us people with disabilities have challenges at the main hospitals. People around look at you as if you are not a human being and you don’t fall sick.”

Joyce has since been a regular client of RHU for HIV testing, cancer screening and other diseases. She says her status exposes her to many risks of infection which has to be regularly checked for.

“I always come here for testing, there is also cancer screening. They don’t segregate me because of my disability. They give you the services you need.”