BY SAMUEL NABWIISO
Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) is to launch a five years National HIV/AIDS strategic plan which will guide the commission in implementing plans that aimed at fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS in the country.
The objective of the 2020-2025 strategic plan is to address some of the HIV/AIDS related issues that were not achieved in the 2015/2020 HIV/AIDS national strategic plan the commission has been using.
According to Dr. Vincent Bagambe, the Director Planning and Strategic Information at UAC, “although the 2015/2020 strategic plan helped the commission register positive impacts in the fight against HIV/ AIDS, there still are outstanding issues that the plan did not achieved, thus the need to come up with a new strategic plan that will bring all stakeholders on board towards the fight against HIV/AIDS in the country”.
Among the key issues that experts feel were not addressed by the 2015/2020 strategic plan is the high prevalence of HIV among Women and youth transmission of the virus from mothers to their unborn children among other issues. But all these can be worked upon in the plan that will be launched very soon.
“Under the 2015/2020 plan Uganda made tremendous progress in combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic. As a commission we saw reduction in the prevalence rate from 7.3% to 6.0% reduction in HIV /AIDS alongside reduction of death related to HIV/AIDS from 32,000 to 22,000 this is good progress for Uganda as country when you compare to other countries in the region, especially in East African and the whole of Africa. However, despite the above achievements there are still challenges which need to be addressed, as the country embarks on the implementation of the new strategic plan” He told the East African Business Week (EABW NEWS).
The strategy to be Launched by UAC will be a multi-sectorial one, meaning that its implementation will be executed by various stakeholders in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Information available at the UAC indicates that HIV infections in Uganda is gendered based, with HIV prevalence being higher among women at 6.8% and 4.2% in men and 2.8% among younger women and lastly 1.1% among younger men.
Dr. Nelson Musoba, the Director General of the Commission attributed such prevalence to poor access to HIV/AIDS medical related service to specific group of people in the country especially in the hard to reach areas like the islands, youth friendly services, multiple sexual behaviors especially among married couples.
The New National HIV/AIDS strategic plan 2020-2025 will be launched during the Annual Joint HIV/AIDS review meting slated to commence on the 26th to 27th August, 2020. Musoba explained that the HIV/AIDS review will be held virtually in line with restriction on public gathering due to the COVID-19 out brake in the country.
Why the review? The review gives the country an opportunity to assess the state of National Response progress in achieving HIV/AIDS set targets, it’s also helps to understand the international / global response to the HIV pandemic including progress towards the global targets especially the major one of ending HIV/AIDS as public health threat by 2030.