The Volunteer Service
(VSO), an international development charity, has launched a pilot scheme
will enable South Africa and other countries hit by the AIDS epidemic to
from Uganda's progress, the New Vision newspaper reported on Thursday.
"In the near future, the VSO is going to recruit Ugandans as part of our
to work in South Africa particularly in the field of HIV/AIDS," Stuart
Mulholland, the VSO Program Director, was quoted as saying.
He added that the VSO will train South Africans so that they can learn
Uganda has achieved great success in fighting against HIV/AIDS, bringing
prevalence from over 30 percent in 1980s and early 1990s down to the
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Museveni Assertive on AIDS Strategy
COMTEX NewswireFriday, April 20, 2001 10:21:00 AM
President Yoweri Museveni has appealed for a global fund-raising drive to
the cost of developing AIDS drugs to enable pharmaceutical companies reduce
Addressing a conference on AIDS Care in Africa at the Sheraton Kampala
yesterday, Museveni said Uganda was willing to contribute US$2m (sh3.6b) to
fund if the global community agreed to the proposal.
The conference, convened by the Rockefeller Foundation, is seeking the
means of expanding access to AIDS treatment in Africa where over 70% of the
world's HIV positive people live.
Museveni said the pharmaceutical companies were not charitable
should not be expected to forego money.
"I will not waste my time trying to make them philanthropic. They are in
business of drugs to make profits. Why don't we negotiate with them as the
international community and see how much money they put in the development
the drugs? We can fundraise and pay off these companies then they can lower
cost of the drugs," he said.
Museveni said his efforts to develop the country were being held back by
which reduces the GDP growth rate by 1%.
"Uganda has been one of the fastest growing economies but this would
better without AIDS. We have been having an average growth of 6.5% over the
15 years. It would be 7.5% if there was no AIDS," he said.
Museveni said more than half the hospital beds were occupied by people
from HIV-related illnesses. He said even mental illnesses were increasing
The director of the US national Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Dr. Anthony Fauci, hailed Museveni for "an extraordinary leadership" that
led to the decline in HIV infection rates and set an example to the rest of
Museveni said whereas Uganda's HIV infection rates had declined from 30%
over the last 10 years, the rate was still high. He called for more
and innovative ways of controlling HIV/AIDS.
He blamed the widespread of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s on the
of the traditional sexual discipline, poor health infrastructure and false
of security in the cure for sexually transmitted diseases like syphilis.
"I knew the combination of these things would spell disaster. I had to
the loudest method of sending alarms to our people," Museveni said.
Museveni praised the traditional extended family systems, which have
Government from building orphanages for the country's 1.7million AIDS
About 800,000 Ugandans have died of HIV/AIDS.
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by Charles Wendo
Many Women Cannot Control Risk Of Infection
COMTEX NewswireThursday, March 29, 2001 8:22:00 PM
"I told my husband that it was better to use condoms,
doctor said so. The doctor had also given me some to use at home. My
became very angry and asked who gave me permission to bring condoms home".
These were the words of Hazel Okello as she related the turbulent times
late husband shortly before she discovered she was living with HIV, the
which leads to AIDS, six years ago. She is a mother of three.
Hazel, a former primary school teacher in rural eastern Uganda, says she
not jeopardise her husband's support even when she suspected he had AIDS.
many women like Hazel, they are exposed to HIV infection in a specific way
A recent UNAIDS report states that four out of five of all women
the virus from a male partner. This goes to show that simply being married
proved a major risk for women who have little control over abstinence or
use at home or indeed their husband's extra-marital liaisons.
A further dilemma is that couples wanting to have children cannot use
Sexually Transmitted Diseases STDs, which compound a woman's biological
vulnerability to HIV, often go untreated even when there are symptoms.
In defining a vulnerable woman, a member of the long-standing National
of Women Living with AIDS in Uganda NACWOLA, Scovia Kassolo, says a
woman is one who is lacking in power or control over her own risk of
She recommends that the remedy is empowerment.
Formed in 1992, NACWOLA began as a follow-up of the International
Women living with AIDS held in Amsterdam, Holland, to cater for the needs
Ugandan women who were HIV positive.
Asked whether it was acceptable for the women to re-marry, Kassolo says
acceptable as long as they use condoms. She adds that it is even better if
Relating to the fact that while some men agree to use condoms with their
many react with anger, violence or even abandon their wives, Kassolo
acknowledges that barrier methods like the female condom would come in
The female condom is a soft loose fitting plastic pouch made of
that fits the organ. It has a semi-stiff plastic ring at each end. t
small plastic stocking.
The inner ring is used to insert the device and hold it in place. The
partly covers the labia area and holds the condom open.
The female condom is already in the Ugandan market. But the one hitch is
few women can buy it. It costs about US$ 2.50 a piece compared to the male
condom that costs about a dollar and in some instances is supplied free of
Recognising that the device may be too costly for most women, efforts
made to see if it can be used safely more than once. Scientists argue that
re-use is possible, then the cost would decline even if the price for the
itself remains unchanged.
Enticing as this may be, would the device remain structurally sound
repeated washing and re-use? Better yet, can sexually transmitted pathogens
removed effectively from the condom after use by a simple washing
Another pertinent question - would reuse harm the woman's organ?
Studies conducted by Family Health International FHI have found that the
structural integrity of the female condom remains intact after a single act
intercourse. The device also remains intact in the laboratory after up to
washes with or without bleach disinfection.
The washing procedure used mild soap in warm water and rinsing, followed
drying of both sides of the condom with a towel.
According to FHI's Carol Joanis, who is co-ordinating the studies, the
organisation is studying how five uses may affect the male and female
organs. Couples who use one device five times are being compared with
who use new devices for five acts of intercourse.
However, preliminary data from the studies found that many organisms are
introduced onto the female condom by environmental contaminants through
towels or other sources.
But that their presence in relatively small numbers should not be
a healthy body. According to Joanis, the FHI studies are going on in
Kenya, Zimbabwe and Brazil.
While these studies seem promising, most public health officials remain
cautious. UNAIDS and the World Health Organisation WHO plan to convene a
of experts to review the issue of reuse.
A WHO scientist involved with the panel's work says the technical group
include experts in women's health, STDs microbiology, materials science and
A cross-section of women interviewed in Kampala acknowledged the
the female condom. Some say they would not use it because they would not
anything inserted in them. Others argue that they do not like to use
barrier methods of birth control that require insertion, let alone the
Those who have used it say the device is just not aesthetically pleasing
it squeaks when not adequately lubricated and also considering that for
effective results, the device requires practice.
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by Florence Bamanyaki
1.4 Million Ugandans Infected With AIDS Virus
COMTEX NewswireTuesday, March 20, 2001 2:48:00 AM
Some 1.44 million people in Uganda
are HIV positive and 120,000 of them have overt AIDS, reported the Monitor
Newspaper on Tuesday.
"HIV/AIDS has been recognized globally as a health burden, a development
and a security issue," the Minister in charge of the Presidency Ruhakana
was quoted as saying.
Rugunda said there are 36.1 million people living with HIV/AIDS
million of them were living in sub-Saharan Africa in 2000.
The minister said this while presenting a project of 50 million U.S.
the Uganda AIDS Control Program to the Parliamentary Sectoral Committee on
National Economy on Monday.
He said the project will be implemented in all line ministries, sectors
districts of Uganda and that particular emphasis will be placed on full
participation of local communities.
The project will be coordinated by the Uganda AIDS Commission, he added.
The east African country has a total population of 21.77 million with an
life expectancy of 45.4 years.
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Mandatory HIV/AIDS Tests for Pregnant Women
COMTEX NewswireFriday, September 28, 2001 1:20:00 PM
The Ministry of Health is considering plans to make
tests mandatory for all pregnant women in an effort to reduce
transmission of the disease, the "Monitor" reported on Friday.
The newspaper quoted the Ugandan director-general of health services,
Omaswa, as saying that women found to be HIV-positive would then be
free of charge with drugs designed to prevent mother-to-child transmission.
Omaswa told a parliamentary committee on social services that the ministry
drafting a programme which, if implemented, would establish HIV/AIDS
centres in all district hospitals, and allow them to administer HIV/AIDS
to HIV-positive pregnant women.
Meanwhile, Minister for Health Jim Muhwezi told parliament on Thursday
government was planning to distribute anti-malaria drugs free on selected
'The New Vision' reported. He added that there would be special malaria
prevention and treatment packages distributed to mothers and children,
to the government-owned newspaper.
Copyright UN Integrated Regional Information Network. Distributed by All
Global Media (AllAfrica.com)
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HIV/Aids in Pregnant Women Down By Half
COMTEX Newswire Tuesday, October 30, 2001 12:20:00 PM
Oct 30, 2001 (The Monitor/All Africa Global Media via COMTEX) -- Uganda now
boasts of a 50 percent decline in HIV/AIDS prevalence among women attending
antenatal clinics, the Commissioner Health Services (Community Health) at
ministry of Health has said.
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Dr. Sam Okware said the HIV cases that were being recorded at
various antenatal clinics over the last few years had drastically dropped from 30 percent to
6%. He was opening a five-day workshop for African scientists and
Uganda Virus Research Institute in Entebbe yesterday.
Okware told participants the epidemic's situation in Uganda was once so
it claimed ten of the twelve people with whom he started the first AIDS
Programme at the ministry in the late 1980s. He however said although
recording a success story, it still had many HIV cases and more efforts
"Research and development are vital in whatever we do to enable us to
not crawl; to enable us to run and not walk," Okware said, adding that with
the progress in AIDS care and prevention, the ultimate solution would be a
The World Health Organisation (WHO) country representative Dr. Walker
supported the idea of carrying out vaccine trials in Africa, since that was
where the problem was biggest. He urged participants to take advantage of
technology, and put it into use in their laboratories for better solutions
The workshop, which closes on Friday, drew participants from 11 African
countries, who will be trained in application of a detuned assay as a tool
estimating incident cases for future vaccine trials.
The organiser of the workshop Dr. Pontiano Kaleebu of UVRI, told The
detuned assay is meant to differentiate between patients who were recently
infected with HIV, from those who have lived with the virus for a long
said the tool, which is already applicable in the Western world, would help
determine areas of high new incident cases and subsequently determine how
vaccine is taken.
by Carolyne Nakazibwe
Copyright The Monitor. Distributed by All Africa Global
UGANDA: Northern youths lament "unimaginable misery"
NAIROBI, 9 November (IRIN) - Insecurity, abductions, displacement and
poor level of education available to them are the key concerns of young
people in northern Uganda, whose lives have been shaped by inter-related
conflicts there and in neighbouring southern Sudan over the last two
decades, according to a report released on Friday by the US-based
Commission for Refugee Women and Children (WCRWC).
"More than 11,000 children from northern Uganda — with adolescents as
prime targets — have been abducted and forced into soldiering and sexual
slavery," said Jane Lowicki, senior coordinator for the Children and
Adolescents Project at the WCRWC and author of the report, released in
Ugandan capital, Kampala.
"Against All Odds: Surviving the War on Adolescents", was the first-ever
report conducted by Ugandan and Sudanese adolescents, who were
eyewitnesses, victims and survivors of the 15-year conflict which
continued to rage in northern Uganda, she said.
"All adolescents in the region are struggling to survive and support
themselves," said Lowicki. "These young people are waiting for
from abduction, sexual violence and HIV/AIDS. They call for peace and
for skills training and education."
The report referred specifically to interviews carried out with over
adolescents and adults between May and July this year on the situation
adolescents in Gulu, Kitgum and Pader districts, but the neighbouring
districts of Moyo, Arua, Adjumani, Lira and Apac were facing a similar
situation, the WCRWC stated.
"The insecurity of armed conflict, where adolescents are principal
for murder, abduction, forced recruitment and sexual enslavement", is
top concern of Ugandan and Sudanese young people in northern Uganda,
according to the report.
Abduction, murder and insecurity caused by the Ugandan rebel Lord's
Resistance Army (LRA) was the principal fear, it said. However, Sudanese
youths - there are some 200,000 Sudanese refugees in Uganda - faced both
abduction by the LRA and forced recruitment by the Sudan People's
Liberation Army (SPLA), abetted by the Ugandan government, for the
war against the Sudanese government, it said.
War, massive displacement, HIV/AIDS, poverty and lack of development has
created a world of "unimaginable misery" for youths, who are shouldering
enormous responsibility for themselves, their families and the community
as a whole, according to the report.
The situation for hundreds of thousands of displaced people in
villages" is particularly bad, since they lack "full-scale recognition
attention" from the Ugandan government and are "also without any
designated international agency responsible for their care and
The youths surveyed called for the international community - and
especially the governments of Uganda and Sudan - to act swiftly to lift
their burden, and for all combatants to commit themselves to peace, it
With the Sudanese government ending its support for the LRA, tighter
Ugandan army control of the border between the two countries and
increasing divisions within the LRA, "the pattern of [youth] abduction
changed and, currently, often involved forced labour and shorter-term
captivity" - as opposed to forced movement to Sudan for training and
indoctrination, it added.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
(OCHA) this week welcomed the "temporary lull in insecurity" in northern
Uganda, which, it said, provided an opportunity to consolidate recent
political and social gains that might lead to sustained peace.
This could include "a serious commitment towards political
and heavy investment in marginalised areas "to correct regional
disparities, raise standards of living... restore confidence and trust,
and to achieve physical security through social security," it said.
"There are windows of opportunity and we need to keep them open," OCHA
The research also revealed that young people believed northern Uganda
facing an education crisis, "requiring an emergency response to get
people back to school and save their communities from further ruin".
Insecurity prevents people from attending school, teachers have been
killed, pupils abducted from classrooms and school buildings destroyed.
Adults also reported that, with limited resources, they often had to
choose between eating and formal learning, the report said.
Society in northern Uganda is traditionally agricultural, and young
said their communities were suffering economically, because fear of
attacks meant that people could no longer work their land freely. With
many people displaced, few could be self-sufficient, and there was an
increasing, and untenable, dependence on humanitarian assistance, they
Adolescents are also exposed to terrible health risks, danger of sexual
violence, psychological trauma and despair, according to Friday's
The breakdown of traditional society had given rise to increased
violence, child abuse and sexual- and gender-based violence, it said.
Ugandan girls, particularly in displacement camps, said they were being
raped, sexually assaulted, exploited and led into prostitution,
principally by Ugandan army soldiers, but also by other adult males and
adolescent boys, it added.
The research showed that adolescents were crying out for peace in
Uganda and southern Sudan to allow them transform their lives, according
to Friday's report.
This would require, it said: donor support for targeted assistance to
address the dire situation affecting adolescents; Ugandan government
action to deliver protection and care for marginalised populations in
north; participation of youths in NGO and government programmes;
investment in economic development in the north; and, the strong and
steadfast political will of the governments of Uganda and Sudan.
The adolescents recommended political and peace talks between warring
factions, accompanied by a cease-fire. This should be followed by a
rehabilitation programme to address social and economic differences in
society, emphasising access to food, health, education and security,
They also expressed the need to build "a culture of tolerance and
reconciliation among the Acholi people" and all Ugandans through both
civic education, and community and government action to support the
amnesty process for rebels giving up their arms.
Friday's report and recommendations are intended to be used for advocacy
purposes, to campaign on policy and programme issues in Uganda, and to
contribute to international efforts to improve services and protection
refugee and displaced adolescents affected by armed conflict and
"Any hope for adolescents in northern Uganda depends on increased
security, decongestion of displaced persons' camps and the creation of
lasting peace," it stated.
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