By Francis Emorut
The high HIV/Aids prevalence rate in Uganda is a bad signal, UNDP country representative, Almaz Gebru, has said.
The current prevalence rate according to the Uganda AIDS Indicator Survey is 7.3% from 6.4%.
“We are concerned the country is regressing badly. Are we stagnating and are we not moving forward?" Gebru wondered.
Gebru, who was in Uganda in the 1990s said the country was touted worldwide for its championship in the fight against disease but has now lost the steam.
“Uganda was the champion of HIV/Aids fight and its leaders were committed and many countries courted Uganda for her experience,” she noted.
She was speaking at the launch of a report titled: “The Uganda AIDS Accountability Score Card,” in Kampala.
Gebru informed HIV/Aids activists that because of the success the country had in the fight against the scourge other countries such as Zambia and South Africa replicated the Ugandan approach.
The UNDP boss urged civil society organizations to use the score card report to influence policy in revenue mobilization to combat the disease.
The Uganda AIDS Accountability Score Card was developed to positively influence the quality, efficiency and accountability in HIV/AIDS service provision at national and district levels.
The survey was conducted in 14 districts and was commissioned by the Uganda Network of AIDS Services (UNASO) and supported by UNDP.
The survey was aimed at establishing the status of equipment and infrastructure and input tracking process as far as service provision regarding HIV/Aids is concerned and others.
According to UNASO executive director, Bharam Namanya, the findings show that stigma still limits HIV positive identified clients from accessing treatment and shortage of both female and male condoms.
The survey also found out that there is lack of comprehensive counseling skills at antennal care and inadequate public education on HIV/Aids and confusing messages from actors.
The districts in which the survey was conducted include Luwero, Wakiso, Rakai, Sheema, Mabarara, Kamwenge and Mbale.
Others are Mayuge, Kapchorwa, Moroto, Kaberamaido, Gulu, Adjumani and Apac.
Lillian Mworeko the community development officer of Sheema district pointed out that there is need to have female condoms in her district to prevent HIV/Aids infections.
“As a country we have more male condoms but at the same time there is low involvement of men. Who is using those condoms? Does that explain why we have high infections?” Mworeko asked.
“We need to have female condoms and teach women how to use them.”
Aids Information Centre (AIC),executive director, Dr. Raymond Byaruhanga, implored civil society organizations to use information in the score card to incorporate into the proposed HIV/Aids strategic plan.