Minister Blasts Kabarole Officials Over High HIV Prevalence

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In short
According to Opendi, the HIV prevalence rate in Kabarole stands at 15 percent as compared to 12 percent in 2015 when the district hosted the World Aids Day Celebrations.

State Minister for Health Sarah Opendi has accused Kabarole district officials for doing little to combat the escalation of HIV infections.

Opendi says the HIV prevalence rate in Kabarole stands at 15 percent as compared to 12 percent in 2015 when the district hosted the World Aids Day Celebrations.

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Opendi wants district health and education authorities to revamp health message in schools to reduce on HIV prevalence rates. She explains that the once the messages are passed on to children, they will be change agents in the communities. 

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David Rujumba, the Kabarole District HIV Focal Person admits that there is need to design more HIV /AIDS messages in schools, adding that lack of such messages is partly responsible for the spread of the disease.

He however says that the health department had started the Behavior Change Strategy campaign in both primary and secondary schools, but it was halted due to lack of funds.

In 2000, the Presidential Initiative on Aids Strategy for Communication to Youth - PIASCY was introduced in schools with the aim of increasing awareness about the HIV pandemic and dangers of teenage pregnancy.

At the initiation of the program, the president's office provided text books to teachers with HIV prevention focused messages to discourage children from engaging in early sex. 

The Uganda Aids Commission has in the past called for a review of messages designed to prevent HIV infections in the country because they have run out of tempo and are not making a significant impact on information dissemination and awareness.

In 2013, the HIV/AIDS Message Clearance and Harmonization Committee was established by Uganda AIDS Commission.  

The committee scrutinizes all HIV messages for content, clarity, age, gender and cultural sensitivity to ensure that they appeal to all Ugandans and will yield the desired HIV prevention behavior. 


About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.