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Museveni kicks off health campaign at Namboole

By Vision Reporter

Added 9th November 2014 01:42 PM

President Yoweri Museveni launches a health campaign that climaxes in a match between Uganda and Ethiopia.

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President Yoweri Museveni launches a health campaign that climaxes in a match between Uganda and Ethiopia.


By James Bakama
 
President Yoweri Museveni  is launching a health campaign that climaxes in a match between Uganda and Ethiopia.
 
Dubbed “Protect the Goal Campaign”, the six-hour event at Namboole is part of a global movement to use sports and entertainment as a means of combating HIV/ AIDS amongst the youths.
 
Besides Uganda’s support, the campaign also has the backing of all United Nations organizations, the American Government and all the continental football bodies.
 
Ethiopia’s national side, the Walias, arrived on Friday for the friendly that will be preceded by a match between Museveni and his cabinet against MPs.
 
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The Walias arrived on Friday for the friendly against the Cranes
 
The 11am-to-5pm activities will also be spiced up with performances by leading local artistes. It is also an opportunity for free entertainment, treatment and counseling as entry will be free.
 
It’s a health program punctuated with ingredients that attract youth, sports and music. Ministry of Health, its partners UNAIDS and the Uganda Aids Commission are behind the dissemination of HIV/AIDS messages to young people through football.
 
This initiative is part of a global campaign that was first launched at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. The campaign was also a special feature of the just concluded World Cup in Brazil. Organisers say the multitude of youth that will be in Namboole will create an opportunity for them to network from all over the world.
 
“They will be exposed to the facts about HIV/AIDS, prevention, free condoms and gain access to free HIV testing and counseling,” explained the organisers.
 
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Striker Robert Ssentongo (right) will feature in the friendly at Namboole
 
HIV test key
 
People have been urged to grab this opportunity by having a test.
 
“If you test negative, and the great majority of Ugandans are, you will be given the necessary information, advice and services to enable you to remain negative,” read a Uganda Aids Commission release on Friday.
 
If you test positive, Government and partners will put you on anti-retroviral treatment for free. So do come forward and take the test. It is for your good.”
 
The organisers stress that early discovery that you are HIV positive, enables the affected to get the necessary care and treatment to enable them to live a quality life.
 
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Coach Micho is preparing his side for a crucial AFCON tie against Ghana
 
For the Cranes, the activities will provide a worthy day out. The players will not only be availed with priceless medical attention, but also a timely buildup for a crucial Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ghana.
 
The day also provides the organisers to cash in on the national team players’ star status to attract youth. Involvement by the players in the medical programmes will boost the initiatives’ appeal amongst the youth given the footballers’ status as idols.
 
The Cranes play Ghana’s Black Stars at the same venue on Saturday in a match Uganda must win if it is to bring its qualification chances back on track.
 
Global figure
 
Globally, an estimated 5.4 million adolescents and young people are living with HIV and 1.8 million are eligible for HIV treatment.
 
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The year was 2003. Museveni takes a corner-kick during a curtain-raiser match between Cabinet and FM radio presenters.
 
Millions of young people living with HIV do not know they living with the virus, and every day, approximately 2100 adolescents and young people become newly infected, which accounts for 36% of all new HIV infections globally.
 
Elsewhere in Africa, UNAIDS and partners, including youth leaders, have disseminated HIV prevention messages on large electronic screens to football fans in stadiums and fan zones during games, including the Orange Africa Cup of Nations, Africa’s most prestigious football tournament.
 
In Asia, UNAIDS, in cooperation with the Asian Football Confederation and the Asian Development Bank, are engaged in a partnership to enhance awareness of HIV, improve access to HIV prevention and treatment, and work to eliminate HIV-related stigma and discrimination in five pilot countries — Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, and Thailand.

Museveni kicks off health campaign at Namboole

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