President Yoweri Museveni launches a health campaign at Namboole Stadium where he calls on Ugandans to test for HIV.
By Joseph Kizza & James Bakama
PROTECT THE GOAL CAMPAIGN
Uganda 3 Ethiopia 0
Cabinet 0 MPs 3
President Yoweri Museveni launched a health campaign that climaxed into an international friendly match between Uganda and Ethiopia on Sunday at Namboole Stadium.
Dubbed “Protect the Goal Campaign”, the six-hour event at Namboole was part of a global movement to use sports and entertainment as a means of combating HIV/ AIDS amongst the youths.
In the resultant match, which crowned the day, the Uganda Cranes beat visiting Ethiopia's the Walias 3-0 to wrap up a successful start to a crucial health campaign.
While launching the health drive, Museveni – donning a white campaign T-shirt, navy blue track-pants, sneakers and his trademark hat – said his government will continue to support the fight against HIV/AIDS.
The president, who publicly tested for HIV late last year, said it was a wise idea to use sports as a channel to steer the campaign, going on to say that he once used to be a good footballer himself.
President Museveni publicly tests for HIV last year. PHOTO/Enock Kakande
The president offered four pointers in the fight against HIV/AIDS;
- Avoid reckless behavior which is avoidable, like promiscuity.
- Sexually engage with a partner whose status you know, or if you don’t know, use a condom
- Make sure you check yourself. “Go to the medical authorities so that they tell you your status. When you find that you are sick, then you go for ARVs.”
- “If you an HIV-positive pregnant woman, you should take drugs that help prevent transmission of the virus to the unborn baby.”
After his brief address infront of a fairly packed stadium, the president was led down the steps, holding a flag emblazoned with messages of the HIV/AIDS campaign, and intently strolled down to the pitch.
Once on the Namboole turf, he had a feel of the ball with a couple of determined kicks, including one final hard one skywards amid deafening cheers from a keen crowd.
Then with the sporting part of the campaign officially flagged off, the Cabinet team took on the Members of Parliament (MPs) for an entertaining curtain-raiser match that saw the legislators beat their opponents 3-0, thanks to three quick first-half goals.
Note that each half was 20 minutes long, as opposed to the standard 45 minutes per half.
This match was played prior to an international friendly between Uganda and Ethiopia ahead of next Saturday's Africa Nations Cup (AFCON) tie between the Cranes and West Africa's Ghana.
Uganda went on to beat Ethiopia 3-0, a result that will help buoy the spirits of the Cranes camp ahead of Saturday's clash.
Cranes striker Geoffrey Massa scored against Ethiopia on Saturday. PHOTO/Mpalanyi Ssentongo
Besides Uganda’s support, the campaign also has the backing of all United Nations organizations, the American Government and all the continental football bodies.
The 11am-to-5pm activities were spiced up by performances by leading local artistes, which presented an opportunity for free entertainment, treatment and counseling as entry will be free.
Museveni calls on Ugandans to test for HIV