2016

30.11

UgandAbout

Ugandabout – novembre 2016

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Alcune notizie sull’Uganda e sull’Africa recuperate da internet nel novembre 2016.

THE MAJORITY OF AFRICAN MIGRANTS MOVE BETWEEN COUNTRIES ON THE CONTINENT
31 october 2016

UGANDA: TREAT SEX EDUCATION AS A HUMAN RIGHT TO HEALTH
5 november 2016

UGANDA SHILLING HITS AN EIGHT-MONTH LOW
5 november 2016

EAST AFRICA AS A SINGLE DESTINATION
6 november 2016

OVER 190.000 SOUTH SUDAN REFUGEES HIT BY WATER SHORTAGE
7 november 2016

EAST AFRICAN COUNTRIES URGED TO END ILLEGAL FISHING IN LAKE VICTORIA
12 november 2016

AFRICA: POOR WOMEN’S VOICES STILL MISSING FROM CLIMATE TALKS
12 november 2016

WHY INTERNET USE IS LOW IN AFRICA
15 november 2016

1.3 MILLION AT RISK OF HUNGER IN UGANDA
16 november 2016

AFRICA. WITHOUT A VACCINE THE AIDS EPIDEMIC CAN STILL END
16 november 2016

UGANDA: SCONTRI FORZE GOVERNO E RIBELLI
27 novembre 2016

UN NUOVO VACCINO CONTRO L’HIV
28 novembre 2016


THE MAJORITY OF AFRICAN MIGRANTS MOVE BETWEEN COUNTRIES ON THE CONTINENT
31 october 2016
Immigration to the West accounts for less than 50% of all global migration according to data from the United Nations. Most people move from one non-Western country to another, yet their stories are rarely told. Journalism about immigration focuses overwhelmingly on those coming to North America and Western Europe, even though individuals who move within the Global South make up the majority of refugees and migrants.
Claire Adida, the author of ‘Immigrant Exclusion and Insecurity in Africa: Coethnic Strangers’, published this year, wrote to me in an email: “Africans migrate in Africa all the time, looking for economic opportunity, interacting with members of their host societies, carving out a life for themselves away from their hometown. They have been doing this for generations.”
Adida, who is also Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of California-San Diego, added: “Yet we know very little about these communities, their struggles and successes, and we have very little data. This is therefore a phenomenon that remains very much informal and poorly understood.”
In her new book, Adida explores the diversity of immigration experiences in urban West Africa. The book is one of the first to explain immigration integration in the developing world.
Immigrants, for example, make up 3% of Ghana’s population. At least 80% of immigrants who come to the West African nation are from other African states, according to a report from the International Organization for Migration (IMO). Many come from neighboring states, such as Nigeria.
Most economic migrants arrive to Ghana from neighboring countries, partly because Ghana is a part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The economic partnership of fifteen West African countries was founded in 1975, and aims to foster free migration within its borders.
Ghana’s borders have recently become even more porous. Beginning in July, the country began to offer tourist visas on arrival to citizens of all 54 African Union (AU) member states. Historically, it has been more difficult for Africans than for American and European tourists to travel within their own continent.
While in Ghana’s capital in June, I met a group of Nigerian immigrants selling cellphones along the streets of Madina, a bustling neighborhood on the outskirts of Accra. One of them, Henry Nnamdi, 33, held up a shiny red Samsung, and explained that he left three young kids to move to Ghana four years ago to earn more money for his family.
In the same market was Charles Moses, 30, another mobile phone salesman. He came to Ghana only six months ago, after the Nigerian government demolished his clothing boutique in order to build a bridge.
While his lack of knowledge of local languages has made meeting new friends difficult, “We Nigerians mingle with Ghanaians very easily” he said. Nnamadi and Moses are some of the thousands of Nigerian immigrants who come to Ghana each year, largely to find opportunities for work.
While many migrants who leave neighboring countries to come to Ghana are unskilled laborers, some bring important trades to the country.
“I decided to move to Ghana because I wanted to learn an approach to medicine in an Anglophone country” Van Nam Glouzon, 30, a doctor originally from Ivory Coast explained to me. Glouzon, who also speaks French and Russian, noticed that most medical research is written in English, and believed practicing in an English-speaking country would allow him to stay on the cutting-edge of his field.
According to research conducted at the University of Ghana’s Centre for Migration Studies, a significant number of male migrants who came to Accra reported that moving delayed marriage. Many said they had trouble renting a room, which delayed marriage even further.
Not all people who come to Ghana from neighboring countries are male. Nearly half of them are women, the University of Ghana report indicated. Olivia Ogechi, 26, is one of them. She moved from Nigeria’s southern Imo State in order to pursue nursing school in Accra.
“I have a passionate need to serve people” she said while organizing the colorful women’s shoes she sells in the city’s street markets. “Ghana is a cool place to stay” she continued.
The IMO report showed also that not every immigrant to Ghana comes from a neighboring state. Fifteen percent come from Europe, like Torbjörn ‘Toby’ Bergman.
The 43-year-old emigrated from Sweden two years ago to open Chuck’s Bar & Restaurant, an upscale continental eatery in Tamale, a city in northern Ghana 10 hours from Accra by car. On a Friday night, the restaurant’s expansive backyard was packed, in part because it’s one of the only places like it in town. “We changed something about this city when we opened this place” he said.
Many of the people who come to Ghana arrive under more unfortunate circumstances than Bergman. In recent years, Ghana has seen a large increase in the number of refugee and asylum seekers, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The Ghanaian government has sometimes botched its responses to the influx. In June, more than 40 asylum seekers, including infants, were left to sleep in the open near Accra’s international airport, according to ‘Joy News’ The Ghana Refugee Board (GRB) chose to repatriate them back to their countries of origin.
“It was a number of refugees from the Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, central Africa, and other countries who were lodging on the lawn of a benevolent Ghanaian” said Sheila Tamakloe, the journalist who reported the story. Some refugees were even sleeping on the lawn of the GRB.
According to Professor Adida, “Inter-African migration brings both promise and peril to African host societies. It brings promise because African migrants open up new economic opportunities by creating or bringing new goods, new trading routes, new institutions. At the same time, African migrants are – just like everywhere else in the world – easy scapegoats when an economy contracts, and unemployment and instability rise.”
What is clear is that each individual who immigrates to any country on the globe has their own narrative, no matter their reason for movement. What can be done now is to continue to tell their stories, especially those largely undocumented in the Global South.
fonte http://africasacountry.com – Louise Matsakis

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UGANDA: TREAT SEX EDUCATION AS A HUMAN RIGHT TO HEALTH
5 november 2016
The ban on comprehensive sex education in Uganda’s schools needs challenging. That Uganda has a ministry of Ethics and Integrity that is entirely engrossed with sexual morality but does not support sexual health education in school is shameful. Sexual health needs to be framed and presented as a human rights to health in line with various international instruments incorporating a right to health. This is also consistent directly with requirements of Sustainable Development Goals 3, 4, and 5.
In the last couple of years, Uganda has enacted some of the most ridiculous laws signifying a firm presence of the State in the private lives of citizens. Many conservative as well as liberal societies have long tended to limit the extent to which the State can regulate individual private space. The pursuit of individual liberty, human rights, and social order becomes relevant in the global neoliberal milieu with minimal state interference.
Laws that regulate sex, sexuality and sexual conducts in any society tends to be repressive to women and minorities. This reinforces a gender bias, where women are the object of moral agents, while the men, are left to their own vices and unconstrained. Such laws have limited the full and equal participation of women in the labour market, public administration and other realms of decision-making.
Nonetheless, ‘Lokodoism’ is in full control over our society with this notion that the State can police, restrict and control women’s public and private appearances. Ridiculous laws such as anti-miniskirt laws, or the full time obsession with brothels or homosexuality are indicators of how the State is in private spheres.
It is the culture that drives hostility in regard to women’s liberty, and to sexual health education thereby limiting the natural potential of developing a societal self-regulating mechanism in line with its normative values.
The strong presence of the State presupposes that sex and sexuality as a concept are aggregated within a homogeneous cultural framework across the country. This is far from the truth as Uganda has diverse cultures with equally very diverse sexual practices and belief systems about sex, sexuality, motherhood, safe sex, marriage, and so forth.
World over, schools operate a Sexual Health Education (SHE) in their high schools for pre-adolescent, adolescents and youths. This helps young people to become competent in decision-making on sex-related matters and handle personal growth and development through puberty with dignity.
For us in Uganda, SHE is critical for the fight against HIV/Aids, healthy reproductive health, and for staving off early and unwanted pregnancies. In most sub-Sahara Africa where sex matters remains a taboo, there is an expectation that parents initiate sex education to their children. None of that happens. Some cultures consign such duties to aunties and uncles. With changes in family structures, geographies and economics, families hardly interact.
This is where the school setting becomes a prime place for a progressive comprehensive sexual health education. Otherwise, children are left to the vagaries of social/electronic and mainstream media where they access alien cultural contents that are perverted, commercialised and exciting forms of sexual portrayals, symbolic imagery, lurid acts, etc. Moreover, alien cultures of sex and sexuality that confront our children are associated with substance abuse, drugs, alcohol, weed, street drugs etc, most of which are already on our streets.
There is absolute need for continued SHE in our schools. The Gender minister, Ms Janat Mukwaya, was ill advised into suspending the programme when she could have called for a review. An impact evaluation should have sufficed. This article recommends a multipronged approach involving various line ministries; Education, Ethics, Health as well as cultural institutions and faith-based organisations to formulate a comprehensive SHE in our schools. This would ensure that the content of the comprehensive sex education conforms to, is relevant and consistent with a national agenda such as National Development Plan.
With the advent of HIV medication that promises an HIV free generation, early sex education became a societal imperative; a tool for youths, especially females, to nurture ability to make informed sex-related decision and experience sexual health as young people. Our major concerns are reverting and preventing new HIV incidences. Studies show that female youths are extremely vulnerable and at higher risk of contracting HIV/Aids and other STIs/STDs before turning 24 years.
Sexual health education is just one aspect of health spending; the State must guarantee wide ranging social safety measures through social policies on poverty reduction, income equality, legal and human rights including safeguarding equal rights to health resources for youths.
fonte allafrica.com Morris Komakech

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UGANDA SHILLING HITS AN EIGHT-MONTH LOW
5 november 2016
The Uganda Shilling has continued its weakening position since the start of October 2016 as import pressures rise. The official Bank of Uganda (BoU) rate had it trading at Shs3488/3499, shy of the Shs3500 mark. The last time the Shilling was this low was about eight months ago.
“The Shilling wavered, traded in volatile mode undermined by a surge in corporate and interbank demand amidst reduced in foreign exchange inflows” says Mr. Stephen Kaboyo, the Managing Partner at Alpha Capital Partners.
The Shilling had gained some stability at the start of 2016 after the record lows experienced in 2015 due to pre-election jitters, projected government spending and slowed investment. The gains made since January 2016 are, however, being eroded as end-of year demand is expected to rise.
“In the coming weeks, the Shilling is likely to remain bearish on account of ramped up demand as market players source dollars for end of year imports” Kaboyo adds.
The coffee export earnings had eased on the pressure slightly at the end of October, however, the import appetite rises faster as the year comes to a close. Imports are expected as the Christmas season tends to attract demand for imported.
The demand is mostly being driven by commercial banks that are doing conversions for importers from the Shilling to dollars. The various forex bureaus in town were already quoting the Dollar at Shs3507/3510. By midday on Friday, the BoU had not intervened in the market to stem the volatility.
The government is awaiting $200m from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank) that is meant to be brought in to stabilise the Shilling. According to the Ministry of Finance, the loan is expected to reduce the need for government to source dollars in the market and therefore increasing the demand.
The expectation is that if the loan money is disbursed to Uganda, the Shilling is likely to appreciate.
fonte allafrica.com – Mark Keith Muhumuza

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EAST AFRICA AS A SINGLE DESTINATION
6 november 2016
Next week, Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda will exhibit as a single destination, at the coveted World Travel Market, a leading global event where the international travel industry meets, networks, negotiates and conducts business.
The decision to exhibit as East Africa was arrived at after protracted meetings between top regional tourism honchos; Uganda’s High Commissioner in Kenya Angelina Wapakhabulo who represented tourism minister, Kenya’s Cabinet Secretary for Tourism Najib Balala and Rwanda’s chief tourism officer Belise Kariza.
The trio met on the sidelines of the Magical Kenya Travel Expo recently.
Tourism minister, Prof Ephraim Kamuntu, said interactions with regional marketers was an eye-opener, underlining the need for private and public tourism players working toward a common goal of improving tourism. Under the theme borderless East Africa, the countries will have one stall.
According to Balala, this joint showcasing will be a chance for each country to shine by showcasing its best tourism attractions. Uganda’s rich and diverse tourism attractions will no doubt play a crucial role in this.
It is home to the 54 per cent of the world’s Mountain Gorilla population and other wildlife, a rich and diverse culture, the snow-capped Rwenzori Mountains, 10 national parks, Rift Valley landscapes and tropical forests that make dramatic backdrops to an extensive variety of flora and fauna, Africa largest fresh lake – Lake Victoria, and more attractions. Uganda is also home to more than 1,057 species of birds which constitute 11 per cent of the global bird population.
Legacy – These have won Uganda awards at world expos. Last year, the Pearl of Africa won Grand Award for Best Overall Exhibition Stand and Best Stand Design at the 5th edition of Magical Kenya Travel Expo.
Prior to that, Uganda won the Best Exhibitor Award at the Indaba Tourism Expo in Durban, South Africa.
While emphasising unique tourism offerings of the individual countries, Balala observes that there are some commonalities such as safari experiences between Uganda and Kenya, while Rwanda has positioned itself as an eco-tourism destination, which are also in Uganda and Kenya.
“The key issue to all member states is importance of developing products on their own and be able to bring them to the joint marketing platform and sell. We are committed that this process moves forward. Our competitors are the Middle East. Ugandans, Kenyans and Rwandans are not competitors, we complement each other. We are at different levels, but we can achieve equality and appreciate what is there for each of us only when we are united” he said.
Travelling made easy – The meeting also realised the need to promote the uni visa among the countries, to which Wapakhabulo re-iterated Uganda’s commitment.
“In the course of the discussions, it has been repeated, as a region we are not in conflict or in competition with each other, but with the world, so it is important to market ourselves to the world. We are getting tourists from the region, among ourselves.”
Uganda is a top source market to Kenya’s tourism, with 55,000 Ugandans visiting the neighbouring country every year. Wapakhabulo rooted for the need for media familiarisation trips so that it can tell what is unique in the respective East African countries.
“If you look at airfares between Entebbe and Nairobi they are more expensive than going to Dubai. We have Kampala-by-night. You can fly to Kampala on Friday, enjoy and sample the beauty of the city and what it offers. Let us promote regional tourism” she further implored tourists.
fonte allafrica.com – Edgar R. Batte

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OVER 190.000 SOUTH SUDAN REFUGEES HIT BY WATER SHORTAGE
7 november 2016
At least 190,000 South Sudanese refugees in  Bidibidi Camp in Yumbe District, Uganda, are facing an acute water shortage, a situation that has worsened the dire living conditions in the settlement.
The refugees fled from various tribal clashes and security volatility especially in the Eastern Equatorial towns of Yei and Nimule. Mr Taban Saverino, a refugee says the water being supplied by agencies like OXFAM is not enough because of the big number of refugees. “The congestion at the water points is too much and people spend hours at the points trying to get water.” He said the problem could only be reduced by drilling more boreholes in the settlement.
Ms Mary Akol, another refugee said: “My children cannot bathe because the water we get is used to cook food. The situation is not different from our dry lands in South Sudan.”
Mr Robert Baryamwesiga, the settlement commandant said the low water table has frustrated efforts by UN agencies to drill boreholes in the camp. “The UN agencies have drilled some boreholes in the settlements and in addition to that, we pump water from River Nile through Obongi which is 68 kilometers from the camp, which makes it very expensive to transport” he said.
He said the community is in dire need of water since the available water in the reservoirs is not enough for refugees and nationals.
Mr Nasir Fernandes, the UNHCR senior emergency officer said they are studying the water situation in the settlement.
fonte www.monitor.co.ugRobert Elema

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EAST AFRICAN COUNTRIES URGED TO END ILLEGAL FISHING IN LAKE VICTORIA
12 november 2016
The five countries bordering Lake Victoria have been asked to end illegal fishing and discharge of industrial waste into the lake if they must benefit from the resource.
The sectorial council of ministers (Secom) from Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi said destruction of forest cover and use of poor agricultural methods had led to silting that has destabilised the waters.
This has held back the great economic benefits that come with activities like fishing which is relied on by millions of people across the riparian states.
The ministers spoke on Thursday during an event to celebrate the 10th year since the Lake Victoria Basin Commission (LVBC) was instituted by the East African Community to protect and steer development agendas in the lake basin.
“We should think seriously of ending destruction of watersheds, channelling of wastes from industries, farms and mines and controlling soil erosion” Engineer Ramo Makani, the Secom chairman for LVBC.
Mr Ramo who is also Tanzania’s deputy minister for natural resources said it was the duty of every member state to protect the water levels and end use of illegal fishing gears that that have destroyed fish breeding grounds therefore reducing their numbers in the waters.
Kenyan cabinet Secretary for Water and Mining Eugene Wamalwa and LVBC Executive Secretary Dr Said Matano asked the states to tighten the common environment protection laws to ensure that issues affecting the basin are addressed.
“Secom plays an important role in providing policy direction and oversight on issues affecting the lake basin. This is an opportunity to address challenges the development of the basin and improvement of our people’s livelihoods” said Mr Wamalwa.
Dr Matano said the commission has made a milestone in conservation of the ecosystem, removal and management of the stubborn water weed, hyacinth, as well as controlling disease and population of people within the basin among other activities.
“We are now launching a strategic plan for the next five years that will ensure that livelihoods are bettered further” he said.
One of the major project the commission seeks to steer in 2017 is the multibillion lake Victoria transport and communication project that will ensure the setup of 22 rescue centres across the lake, weather stations and navigation routes redrafted to ensure safety of sailors and improve trade in East Africa.
fonte allafrica.com – Anita Chepkoech

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AFRICA: POOR WOMEN’S VOICES STILL MISSING FROM CLIMATE TALKS
12 november 2016
Rural women are hugely knowledgeable about climate change – but that expertise isn’t making it into the negotiations.
“You will never find a man in the bush” quipped Agnes Leina Ntikaampi, founder and head of Il’laramatak Community Concerns, a local group working with herder communities in northern Kenya. In her region, it is pastoralist women who are affected most by climate pressures, she explained.
When drought hits the rangelands, it is women who head out in search of  anything green to feed the calves. It is they who nurture people and animals – and who are the ‘knowledge-holders’, she said.
And yet the voices of rural women are “completely missing” at the U.N. climate change talks, she told a discussion on getting community voices heard in decision-making.
“We have to include women in adaptation and equip them with the knowledge they need to adjust to climate extremes”, she said on the sidelines of the latest round of talks in Marrakesh. “Knowledge is power.”
Local women should also see some of the benefits of large-scale clean energy initiatives being rolled out in the region, such as the Lake Turkana wind power project. That has not happened so far, she said.
In northern Kenya, some efforts are underway to involve local people – including women – in deciding on projects to help communities cope better with climate impacts, through initiatives such as the County Climate Change Fund.
But in many places, it’s still a struggle to amplify the experiences of farmers and pastoralists on the ground so they are heard at the national and international level, participants at the ‘Development and Climate Days’ event heard.
Changing local laws – Constance Okollet, chairperson of the Osukuru United Women’s Network in eastern Uganda, has had considerable success in mobilising her community of small-scale farmers to adapt to the droughts, heavy winds and other climate extremes that are making life complicated these days.
“There are so many bad things happening” she said. The changes have made it harder to put food on the table, and that has motivated women to act, she said.
Her network spreads the word about climate change and its impacts, strengthening women’s rights in the process.
One of their big wins has been to get legislation passed at district level to stop deforestation – a measure Okollet described as “cut one, plant five” when it comes to trees. But she does not know how to reach out to parliamentarians at national level, she lamented.
Tracy C. Kajumba, a climate change and development advisor for sub-Saharan Africa with Irish Aid, said civil society organisations in Uganda are working hard to make sure women’s voices are heard and bring them into national-level discussions.
But even when women are elected as lawmakers, they sometimes fail to represent the interests of their female constituents, Kajumba said. And while good legislation on gender and climate change is necessary – and is already in place in Uganda – that doesn’t mean it will be implemented, she added.
When it come to international environmental treaties, there is disparity on support for women, said gender experts.
UN Climate talks ‘bubble’ – The Convention on Biological Diversity provides considerable space and funding for high-level participation by indigenous people and women, said Edna Kaptoyo of the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests.
But that is not yet the case with the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process, many noted.
“We need to have the voices of women in the UNFCCC bubble” said Tara Shine, who advises the Mary Robinson Foundation – Climate Justice.
In the Paris climate change agreement which came into effect on Nov. 4, countries are urged to promote gender equality in climate action – but there is little guidance on how that should be put into practice, Kajumba said.
“At the global level, there is goodwill, but what is happening? All the right things are in place, but there are obstacles” she said.
Barriers include a lack of finance and information, low levels of literacy in poor communities, and weak consultation with both women and men on the ground, she added.
Men are also grappling with the negative consequences of climate change. “They don’t know what to do… and that can lead to problems like them becoming violent” she said.
To solve the climate change problem “We need to bring the men on board” she said, arguing the focus should not be limited to women. “How do we work together? Men are part of the solution.”
fonte allafrica.com – Megan Rowling

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WHY INTERNET USE IS LOW IN AFRICA
15 november 2016
Despite recent improvements in infrastructure and affordability, internet adoption in Sub-Saharan Africa is not growing rapidly, a report says.
The report says that the continent’s internet adoption isn’t growing at a speedy rate because potential users do not always find the internet relevant enough. According to Bastiaan Quast, co-author of the report and economics fellow of Internet Society, Africa faces challenges such as poor telecommunication systems in slums and the basic costs of accessing the internet.
“There is very little content in local languages…. We need more (professional) content to be generated locally” Quast tells SciDev.Net last month (20 October).
The report by the US-headquartered Internet Society was released at the African Peering and Interconnection Forum that took place in Tanzania.
Almost 90 per cent of the population in some African countries live within range of a mobile internet signal, however internet use may be 20 per cent or less, thus prompting the need for the study to assess the reasons for low internet adoption.
“We used data from a number of sources. In some cases it includes all African countries” Quast says, citing Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda as some of the countries the study explored. The study, he says, covered the period 2012-2016. “We relied on sources such as the International Telecommunication Union and Research ICT Africa for our data” he adds.
Millicent Ong’ondo, an internet expert who works at J.D. Rockefeller Research Library in Kenya’s Egerton University, agrees with the findings, saying most people in Africa do not conduct much research on internet issues that affect them. Thus, most people rely on what is readily available which is often not local.
“Local content would play a role mostly in uptake, but not in connectivity” Ong’ondo explains. “Connectivity is affected by other factors like cost, literacy level and education level, cost of [mobile] phones, cost of airtime and speed of connectivity.”
According to Ong’ondo, the report could create awareness, and make institutions attend to the needs of the users and increase sharing of local content on the internet.
fonte allafrica.com

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1.3 MILLION AT RISK OF HUNGER IN UGANDA
16 november 2016
At least 1.3 million Ugandans are reportedly facing the threat of severe hunger as a result of a prolonged drought across the East African country.
Uganda’s president has ordered his cabinet members to immediately intervene before the situation spirals into a crisis.
fonte www.presstv.com – Daniel Arapmoi

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AFRICA. WITHOUT A VACCINE THE AIDS EPIDEMIC CAN STILL END
16 november 2016
Over the years, the HIV/AIDS discussion has changed from tackling transmission to treatment and prevention. Worldwide, experts are now looking to a cure to end the epidemic. In Uganda, however, despite efforts to reduce new infections, what still baffles experts are the increasing infection rates in adolescents now at 66% of new infections recorded annually. The new Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) Uganda Country Director Sande Amakobe spoke to The Independent’s Flavia Nassaka about her analysis of the country’s progress in tackling the epidemic and what approaches she comes with.
UNAIDS has set a target of 90 9090 by 2030. What progress has been made so far?
The 90 90 90 strategy means 90% of people living with HIV must know that they are positive by 2030.The second 90 is about treatment and the idea is that 90% of those living with the virus are enrolled on treatment.The last 90 is about how well you are doing once you are on treatment. This means that 90% of those on treatment should be virally suppressed to the extent that the virus is undetectable if a test is done.
This target has been endorsed by the government of Uganda and has been included in the National Strategic Plan. It’s now revising the guidelines to ensure that the target is made. Now that the World Health Organization has also issued new guidelines of test and treat, we expect that anyone who is identified as HIV positive is immediately started on treatment. So far in Uganda, of the 1.5 million people living with HIV, 900,000 have been enrolled on treatment. What I hope to see Uganda adopting these guidelines if we are to achieve the target.
Recommendations like ‘test and treat’ have been made and countries have adopted them. Uganda hasn’t. What are the issues facing adoption in this country?
I have only been here for a short while but as a person who understands the science of HIV, test and treat should be the next automatic stage in the management of the epidemic. If people are on treatment and are virally suppressed the chances of spreading the disease to others are reduced by 96%. If you are talking about control then test and treat makes sense. UNAIDS is calling on countries to adopt a fast track approach so that we don’t have to deal with the rebound of the epidemic.
The arguments for not rolling out these guidelines here are financial. From my discussion with the Health Minister, she wants to ensure that we have the financial guarantees that people will be sustained on life-long medication.
I really hope that the Ministry of Finance will see the wisdom in test and treat because if we don’t pay now we are allowing for more and more infection which means we will pay a bigger bill in future. There is a cost-benefit analysis that needs to be done here very quickly.
World AIDS day is just weeks away and UNAIDS is running the Hands-up for HIV prevention campaign. What exactly do you seek to achieve?
The Hands-up for HIV prevention campaign is about revitalizing the prevention message by looking at the tools available today. There is use of condoms, medical male circumcision and ARVs among others. We are saying we have this tool box of a number of actions you can take, let’s put up our hands and commit to using the tools at our disposal to prevent infection. What will work for you may not work for me but in that same tool box, I can pick what is relevant and effective.
It’s hard to talk about HIV prevention and control in Uganda without talking about the main source of its funding the donors. What does the heavy dependence on foreigners to solve a local problem mean for the country?
In very simple terms we are saying for a Ugandan to take that medication everyday someone in Washington or Geneva has to sign a cheque. Whilst that global solidarity is important it’s not a guarantee into the future. A call is being made and has been adopted by the African Union which asks for a three part solution to the financial sustainability problem. It’s contained in a document called the African Union Road map for Global Solidarity and Mutual Accountability. The framework talks about government increasing domestic finance for HIV.
Previous studies show that the Ugandan government contributes only 10% to AIDs finance. UNAIDS together with Makerere University and Uganda AIDs Commission are conducting a study to get the latest financial flows information. Currently Uganda is seen to be asking somebody else to take care of 90% of its problem and there is inevitable risk in this. For instance, Europe is currently dealing with a refugee crisis and has had to decrease some of its funding. If this money was going into buying drugs for someone, it means they may not be able to survive.
Will the AIDs Trust Fund currently being mooted save anything?
Government is going in the right direction. Now that it has passed through parliament, we quickly need to go into implementation. I understand a paper is to go to cabinet and then back to parliament because they have to look at the regulations for operationalising the Trust Fund. I heard the projections are of having $2m in the fund a year. This is good enough for the start but we need to look for other innovative sources of financing. For instance currently the private sector contributes only 1% to the HIV response. There could be an opportunity to look at that and increase it. With accountable management of the money available, something viable can be done.
30 years after the epidemic you really hope you could say I used to live with HIV but now I am cured. As the new Country Director, what are your major areas of focus in the four years you will be around?
When I look at the figures I get excited about the energy put into prevention, that HIV positive mothers are enrolled on treatment to almost universal coverage for we stand at 95%. New infections have also reduced. My objective will be to ensure that we consolidate progress on that. My other area will be in ensuring more people are enrolled on treatment in addition to supporting government adopt the test and treat approach. I am not worried by the financial arguments being made because it’s a smart investment to make.
However, my biggest worry is with the adolescents. While efforts have been made to prevent mother to child transmission, these children who are born HIV free only have to be with us for a few years before they acquire the disease. Of the 83,000 new infections every year, 66% are adolescent girls. It’s frightening and something that needs to lead us to question how our HIV interventions are operationalised if very young people are the majority of those acquiring new infections. We can’t talk about an AIDs free generation when its young people getting sick. That will be my other area of concentration.
What specific programmes are you looking at for women and girls?
There’s a ‘DREAMS’ programme. It’s a short form for Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS-free, Mentored, and Safe and looks at the problem in a comprehensive manner to understand biological, structural and behavioral concerns. Structural involves things to do with poverty which heightens vulnerability to HIV.
It’s not a silver bullet that’s why the UN talks about a comprehensive package; in other words, you are educating the girl about her body and how she should protect herself, economic empowerment and poverty alleviation programmes. We need to be alive to those than condemn them. We can’t tackle one and leave the other. That’s why we are here to complement the government and other institutions.
Over the years, a lot of research has gone into finding a cure and a vaccine. Why in your view has it taken the world so long yet some trials have given us hope?
This is a complicated disease to manage in the body. There is a lot of investment going into vaccine research as well as the cure but nothing has been validated so far by the World Health Organisation. 30 years after the epidemic you really hope you could say I used to live with HIV but now I am cured.
While it would be nice to have a vaccine and a cure, it’s important to appreciate that we have all the tools we need today for people with HIV to live a full productive life. We also have all the tools to prevent infection including pre and post exposure prophylaxis.
Uganda has passed a law criminalising willful transmission of HIV something that caused us a lot of backlash. What’s your view on the law?
Laws criminalising HIV are not helpful. The approach for managing any epidemic is creating an enabling environment for people to come out and get the services but when you start to criminalise certain actions the worry for people in epidemic control is that you drive people underground than bring them to the fore.
What happens when the transmission is from mother to child? Do you want this child to grow up later and sue the parents? In criminal law, there are provisions for anyone who endangers the life of another person willfully and recklessly. These pieces of legislation can take care of that.
fonte allafrica.com – Flavia Nassaka

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UGANDA: SCONTRI FORZE GOVERNO E RIBELLI
27 novembre 2016
Almeno 54 persone sono rimaste uccise in seguito agli scontri fra le forze di sicurezza e una milizia tribale in un distretto remoto vicino al confine con il Congo. Le vittime sono 41 ribelli e 13 poliziotti, riferisce il portavoce della polizia, Felix Kaweesi, il quale ha aggiunto che i feriti sono 8 tra poliziotti e forze di sicurezza.
Gli omicidi sono il risultato di una escalation di un conflitto in corso da lungo tempo tra le forze di sicurezza ugandesi e i ribelli fedeli a un re tribale, Wesley Mumbere. Gli scontri sono aumentati quando le truppe governative hanno cercato di fare irruzione nelle proprietà del re tribale nel tentativo di disarmarne le guardie.
fonte www.ansa.it

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UN NUOVO VACCINO CONTRO L’HIV
28 novembre 2016
È cominciata in Sudafrica la sperimentazione di un nuovo vaccino contro l’hiv. Lo studio è la continuazione del controverso test di un altro vaccino, l’rv144, condotto in Thailandia sette anni fa.
Questo vaccino aveva mostrato un modesto effetto positivo, ma nel corso della sperimentazione 125 persone erano rimaste infettate dal virus. Il nuovo studio, chiamato hvtn702, potrebbe dare una protezione maggiore, anche se non completa. La sperimentazione dovrebbe concludersi nel dicembre del 2020.
fonte www.internazionale.it

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Cambio valuta: in data 30/11/2016 1 dollaro USA è pari a 3628 scellini ugandesi, 1 Euro è pari a 3862,862 scellini ugandesi.
UgandAbout è un servizio di Italia Uganda Onlus a cura di Simona Meneghelli

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