By Henry Sekanjako
MPs and women rights activists for people living with HIV/AIDS, under their umbrella body the Pan-African Positive women’s coalition (PAPWC) have asked the government to set up a special trust fund on HIV/AIDS to finance HIV/AIDS programs in the country to prevent over reliance on donors.
This follows threats to Uganda by development partners to cut aid to Uganda after President Yoweri Museveni assented to the anti-gay law that criminalizes acts of same sex marriage.
According to the women, Uganda needed to have a special fund on HIV/AIDS to take care of the HIV/AIDS positive Ugandans in the event that donors withdraw funding.
“Government needs to pay attention to matters related to HIV/AIDS by setting up a special fund. We do not have to have a situation where the Government cannot afford to support the HIV/AIDS programs because donors have pulled out,” said Sarah Netalisire the chairperson Parliamentary committee on HIV/AIDS.
Netalisire, who was in company of Pan African positive women’s coalition, was Thursday addressing journalists at parliamentary building Kampala ahead of the women’s day celebrations on Saturday March 8.
The women said special funds needed to be set aside to cater for procurement of anti-retroviral drugs, HIV Testing kits among other crucial HIV/AIDS drugs to prevent stock outs.
“It will be bad for Uganda to see people dying because there are no HIV drugs in hospitals. Government needs to be prepared all the time so that even when donors pull out their funding we are not affected as a country,” said Doctor Lydia Mungerera.
The women also urged the Government to consider starting up a special sensitization program on HIV/AIDS for people with disabilities saying some of them were ignorant on issues like mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS during child birth.
They noted that African governments needed to ensure that there is access to HIV/AIDS treatment by 15 million people by 2015 as agreed on in 2010 by United Nations.
Anti- retroviral (ARVs) treatment helps prevent HIV-transmission and decrease in new infections. World Health Organization (WHO) recommends earlier treatment and raises the threshold for starting ARVs.
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MPs, Women activists want special fund on HIV/AIDS