2012 WORLD AIDS DAY (WAD) CELEBRATIONS IN UGANDA HELD AT KASENSERO- RAKAI DISTRICT
On December 1, 2012 Uganda joined the rest of the world to mark the World AIDS day in Kasensero fishing village, Kakuuto, Rakai district. Like many villages in Uganda have two seasons, the dry and wet/ summer, many expect no rain during the dry season and if it rained during this dry spell, it means a big blessing. This is the same case for a Village like Kasensero hosting the president of Uganda when it’s not Campaign time for votes: the common slogan “Poko poko”.
The Uganda Human Settlements Network (SSA: UHSNET) Joined the rest of the world by participating in the celebrations and sharing its experiences in the arena of HIV/ AIDS and it’s implication on housing
The theme for the 2012 celebrations:
“Re-engaging Leadership for Effective HIV Prevention”
This theme was based on the outcomes of the New York High level meeting in June 2011 after observation of a diminishing interest and commitment of world leaders in respect to the HIV/AIDS control.
|Kasensero and Rakai district leaders renew their commitment to the Zero Hiv/ Aids by renouncing to keep the promise.|
Why WAD Celebrations were held in the far deeps of Kasensero?
*Historic reasons coined it up.
It is on record that when a mysterious illness first hit the landlocked Uganda during the 1980s, no one could spell it. It happened with alarming suddenness – formerly healthy people, most of them young adults, began losing weight and showing high susceptibility to common ailments. Doctors called it ‘the slim disease.’ But after a couple years of investigation, medical researchers finally attributed the scourge to a sexually transmissible retrovirus. Today, we know it as HIV. The disease has browsed and claimed lives in many families both in Uganda and beyond borders thus the Director General Uganda Aids Commission, Dr Kihumuro said that Kasensero hosted the celebrations because of history, making it clear that in 1982 the first HIV/AIDS cases in Uganda were identified in Kasensero, landing site on the shores of Lake Victoria, in Rakai District.
|Thousands turned up for the celebrations|
Why celebrate WAD in Uganda?
The celebrations are intended to raise social consciousness about personal responsibility in HIV prevention and breaking down social barriers caused by stigma and discrimination.
Cyclists struggle to take the lead in the Zero HIV/ AIDS race at Kasensero landing site
Clear the way…..)))) Am cycling to Zero HIV/AIDS
More than 50 Boda Boda riders and motorists from Kasensero and the villages around, joined a community run in a bid to raise awareness about the continued support needed to address HIV among high-risk groups and to celebrate the diversity of affected communities.
Guided by the theme for WAD 2012
Chairman, Uganda AIDS Commission Professor Vinand M Nantulya, makes it clear on the realities of HIV in Uganda. What do we know about the epidemic today? He asked.
We know that the epidemic is still raging in our country. Approximately 1.2 million Ugandans are currently infected and living with HIV. Moreover, we know that less than half of those who need to go on antiretroviral treatment are able to get the treatment. The prevalence rate has stagnated between 6.1% and 6.5%, and the number of new infections is rising alongside our growing population. In 2007 we had an estimated 105,000 new infections; rising to 110,000 in 2008, 124,000 in 2009 and 129,000 in 2010.The truth is that we do not know what the actual situation is since the survey data for 2010 are not yet out. What all this means that, we have to double our efforts, since even a single new infection would be one too many. Professor Vinand
Leaders out cry for more support from Government to fishing villages.
|On the Microphone the chairman LCV Rakai District Mugabi joseph, first on the right. Hon. Mathias Kasamba and the rest leaders in Rakai district|
SSA: UHSNET in face of the scourge
|Community members approach UHSNET stall|
Whereas the Uganda AIDS Commission decided to take lead in reinvigorating leadership to support implementation of the National HIV Prevention Strategy and the revised National Strategic Plan which aims to control HIV/AIDS in Uganda and contribute to the global target of zero new infections, zero AIDS related deaths and zero stigma and discrimination,
The Uganda Human settlements network has taken the lead in looking and addressing HIV /AIDS as a housing issue and thus taking the lead in envisaging the link between HIV/AIDs and Inadequate housing. This has stimulated action and highlighted incites, stimulating concerns, participation by communities and action from all leaders especially those living in informal settlements where the prevalence of the scourge is high.
HIV/AIDS Is a HOUSING ISSUE;
HIV/AIDS is more than a just a health issue. Aside from being one of Uganda’s leading causes of illness and mortality, the epidemic has great socioeconomic challenges. The burden of the disease disproportionately affects slum households and, especially, AIDS widows and orphaned children who are more vulnerable to losing access to basic provisions which are critical to their survival, including water, sanitation, and secure tenure. In effect, HIV/AIDS has increasingly become a housing issue.
SSA:Staff used the day to create awareness amongst the communities about the threats and relevance of HIV /AIDS on Housing, highlighting potentials of income generation through simple initiatives and showing pathways of addressing housing needs within the community’s local context and quest to live in a hygienic environment.
HIV/AIDS a housing issue?, How? SSA:UHSNET team brought it down
to the communities
to the communities
SSA staff gives clarification to the communities at the stall
Okey let’s understand the link
Whether you are a victim or not!
Just imagine, you were planning to start constructing your home and all of a sudden you realize you have Aids..How would you perceive the rage?,
Okay; Did you know that people and children growing up from or staying in slums are at a high risk of getting Aids?.. truly How do you think about the housing situation in these slum areas; sick or not sick which livelihood options exist for the communities, Any way; have you seen the prevalence rate of the scourge in these areas, how about the sanitary conditions?, OOOHhh Gender wise Between Men and Women who are most affected by the disease?......, Do the community have a role to play?, how about leaders?
And then You..???
And then You..???
The Civil society Organisations, NGO’s and the private sector doing their role:
Embracing one of WAD objectives, CSOs, NGOs, CBOs and more highlighted achievements and shared a lot of information, a sign of their commitment in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
Plate up: Many other exhibitors embraced the event
The president Speaks out “The Fight against HIV/AIDS Must continue……”
The president receives a present from one of the women taking care of Orphans in Kasensero
The president started by welcoming people and conveyed appreciation to the private sector, NGOS, CSOs and leaders who have a pressed the day and campaign against HIV/AIDs. Speaking at the occasion, the president further noted that The World AIDS Day is an opportunity for us to Unite and renew our commitment to stopping HIV in its tracks. He explained that the Engagement and empowerment of these communities will not only be an effective strategy to address vulnerability to HIV but also serve as a gear to improve the health and well-being of all concerned and spread the mission of improved quality of life and dignity for all." The president emphasized the need to turn prioritize abstinence as far as fighting the Aids Scourge and prevalence in Uganda is concerned.. he further more congratulated the different actors in the fight of zeroing of HIV / AIDS.
In his closing remarks, he echoed a strong Caution! “You are not a metal that just circumcision would protect you from the danger of contracting or getting HIV AIDS, don’t be miss led; those are just distractrs”, said the president.