By Cecilia Okoth & David Lumu
The new Director General of the Uganda Aids Commission has pledged to aggressively combat the HIV\AIDs scourge.
Speaking at the stakeholder’s meeting on the elimination of Mother-To-Child Transmission of HIV\AIDs at State House, Nakasero, Ondoa, the former Minister of Health, said that she has a very supportive board at the Aids Commission and that she would work tooth and nail to deliver on the fight against the spread of HIV\AIDs.
“I want to thank the President for appointing me. I have been rejuvenated and with God on my side, I will fight this scourge,” she said.
Ondoa assumed office last week after the commission bid farewell to the former Director General, David Kihumulo Apuuli.
During his farewell speech on Thursday this week, Apuuli cautioned Ondoa of the likely new HIV/AIDS infections set to occur in 2025.
“Our analysis has shown that since 2007, the number of infections was going down. But research also shows that we shall loose 500,000 Ugandans even those on ARVs by 2015,” Apuuli said adding that the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS will be 2.2m by 2025.
He said it will be difficult to keep in step sufficient resources by then. “But we have also studied with effective brains what must be done to bring down those infections. Therefore, Ugandans should know what must be done.”
Apuuli also cautioned AIDS development partners, “The lives of the people are at stake. Whatever decisions you make remember you are dealing with humans.”
Apuuli pledged to support the organization even after retirement. He served the commission for 15 years since 1999. While in office, Apuuli founded most of the self HIV/AIDS coordinated entities and pushed for the AIDS trust fund.
“Apuuli has been a great advocate for HIV, a mentor, a father and above all a good leader with a unique sense of humour. There is no doubt that he leaves the commission very well positioned,” Said Christine Serwadda, speaking on behalf of the commission’s employees.
The staff welcomed Ondoa and pledged total support and commitment to her.