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UN BOSS INSISTS: M7 GOVT MUST 100% OWN HIV WAR

UNAIDS Country Director for Uganda Dr Karusa Kiragu-Gikonyo says the GoU should act prudently and begin to 100% fund the HIV management

By Mulengera Reporters

Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng confirms several funding partners have written to GoU signaling an end to their generous funding to the health sector and more so the HIV-Aids subsector.

And for Dr Karusa Kiragu-Gikonyo, who is the Uganda Country Director for United Nations HIV Agency (UNAIDS) reminding the government of Uganda of its obligation to 100% fund HIV/Aids has become like a full-time engagement. Whenever she gets a microphone during public functions, Dr. Karusa wonders why even when HIV has escalated to 4000 new infections per week, the GoU doesn’t seem in a hurry to ensure MPs appropriate money in a way that is proportionate to the extent of risk this poses.

Dr Karusa Kiragu Gikonyo chats with UNDP Resident Representative Elsie Attafuah before getting the microphone to spit fire at the NPA consultative meeting for NDP

On Thursday 8th August, Dr. Karusa was among participants at the Serena Conference Center NDP III Breakfast Policy discussions session that was organized by NPA and UNDP. The theme was: “Mainstreaming cross-cutting issues for enhancing delivery of NDP III.” These cross-cutting issues are enumerated to include HIV-Aids the others being gender equality, youth & children; social protection, human rights, culture, PWDs and mindset-change.

The idea being discussed was how NPA, which monitors MDAs’ compliance when it comes to allocating budgeting resources and implementing GoU programs in a manner than enhances Vision 2040, can use NDP III to ensure there is increased funding and implementation of government programs by MDAs in a manner that ensures these issues are given adequate attention.

NPA ED Dr. Joseph Muvawala thanked the audience for participating and candidly giving their views about the cross-cutting issues

Speaking from the audience during the plenary discussion, Dr. Karusa referenced on countries like Rwanda which she said are doing way much better than Uganda on HIV management largely because the leaders there are deliberately accountable to the people for whatever they do or omit to do in the fight against HIV-Aids. She added that because of the way accountability is emphasized, leaders know the consequences of not delivering their HIV-related targets and nobody wants to face such consequences. That is why the HIV fight there is progressing way much better than in Uganda, she stressed.

She said 4,000 new cases being registered per week is something about which all leaders in Uganda must be alarmed and determine to act. She wonders why there is so much compliance and predicted that without resuming the vigilance exhibited in the 1990s, HIV-Aids is going to wipe out many people in Uganda. She is specifically concerned as to what is likely to happen to kids in schools in absence of adequate and deliberate HIV-related education being passed on to them as part of the schooling system.

She ended her brief submission by insisting the GoU must show seriousness by beginning to prepare to end the current situation whereby 90% of the required HIV-related funding is being availed by developing partners. “We must see ownership of the HIV fight by the Ugandan Government and that’s one of the points I would love to see clearly emphasized in NDP III clearly imposing that responsibility on your government,” Dr. Karusa told a very attentive audience. Many of the participants were shocked at her 4,000 new cases per week revelation and she instantly repeated herself saying the same thing in case anyone thought it was a mistake or slip of the tongue.

Mulengera News rung both Health Ministry PS Dr. Diana Atwine and Minister Jane Ruth Aceng both of whom were cautious in their reaction separately referring us to Dr. Joshua Musinguzi who manages Uganda’s Aids Control Program. Our efforts to speak to Dr. Musinguzi, who Aceng and Atwine insisted readily had a more accurate picture, remained futile by the time we posted this story. (For comments, call, text or whatsapp us on 0703164755 or email us at mulengera2040@gmail.com).

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