and Josephine Maseruka
THE distribution of condoms in primary and secondary schools promotes immorality, President Yoweri Museveni has said.
â€œI am not in favour of distribution of condoms in primary and even secondary schools. leave them in shops so that the ones who are badly off can buy them. Let condoms be a last resort,â€ he said.
He was opening the third Uganda AIDS Partnership Forum yesterday at the International Conference Centre in Kampala.
He said children think the only way to have safe sex was to rely on condoms.
â€œI have grown up children and my policy was to frighten them out of indisciplined sex. I started talking to them from the age of 13, telling them to concentrate on their studies, that time would come for sex and that peer groups at school gave them wrong advice from bad families. Indeed, I succeeded in this,â€ he said.
The two-day forum on â€œreporting the present, preparing the future,â€ said Ugandaâ€™s main challenge was how to find a solution to the HIV sero-prevalence stagnation that has remained between 6% and 6.5% in the last four years.
Museveni okayed the Abstain, Be-faithful and Condoms (ABC) strategy. He, however, said sexually transmitted diseases such as HPV and herpes genitalisis spread even with condoms.
â€œI am told Ngabo is not good, it breaks. That is another crisis. I donâ€™t know who approved that type. it breaks and kills people. Whoever allowed the importation of that condom into Uganda is a killer. Maybe that is why the prevalence rate has stagnated because people believed in the safety of such condoms and found they break.
â€œThere must be a limit to condoms, but for sure if they are well manufactured they can control AIDS,â€ he said. The Forum attracted all stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Museveni thanked American President George Bush, The Global Fund, the World Bank and other donors for their contribution towards Ugandaâ€™s fight against the scourge.
He said the Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC) should coordinate the funds to minimise squandering.
He also attributed the stagnated AIDS prevalence to lack of knowledge among the masses. instead of educating the people, FM radios and newspapers are abusing the Government.
â€œThe decline these people are talking about was because I went around preaching in every county. that is why there was a dramatic fall. So you are harvesting what you sowed,â€ he said.
He called for the provision of anti-retroviral drugs.
â€œIt is as if there are no other problems in Uganda and it is only political power. Most of the time is wasted on political greed. You are lucky that the prevalence stagnated. it could have gone up. UAC should direct these radio stations to spread the messages and if they donâ€™t want we shall tell the Broadcasting Council to stop them because they are not useful,â€ he said.
He said he was considering how to do it legally. â€œIf there is no law it should be done. the MPs are here. Radio stations must be directed that this is what you should broadcast,â€ Museveni said. He said churches and mosques were not doing much.
Museveni called on the Ministry of Health to train ordinary people in professional fields, to reduce the burden on its workers.
â€œI trained ordinary people to defeat a professional army. I went to Luweero and found people in rags and trained them to defeat people trained from Soviet Union and other military academies,â€ he said.
UAC Director General Kihumuro Apuuli said the challenge now was complacency and persistent risk behaviour.
Museveni opposes condoms in schools