Following the diminishing donor funding for the fight against HIV in Uganda, RX Radio presenter Olive Najjuma wondered whether the consequences would not make Uganda return to an HIV crisis similar to one that happened in the 90s.
Her worry came after a warning from Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDs showed that HIV infections in the country are on the rise due to the decreased donor funding that contributes up to 80 percent.
In the parliamentary report presented on August 18, crucial donors such as Ireland and Denmark halted their contributions leading to a loss of 120 million dollars (Shs457b) in the 2021/2022 financial year.
The committee also reported that the reduced funds and the Covid-19 disruptions affected outreaches, distribution of condoms, HIV testing, and treatment, boosting a rise in infections from 38,000 in 2020 to 54,000 in 2021.
Distressed by the number of new infections registered in 2022 due to reduced donor funding, Olive expressed concern about Uganda's future, saying it might return to the 90s HIV crisis.
“Don't you think we might find ourselves back to the early 90s in terms of HIV infections? She asked James Onen, her co-host during The Fatboy Show.
She added, “I understand we have drugs like ARVs, but, if we have a funding shortfall, we shall have a shortage on them as well, yet government support is only 8 percent which does not arrive on time.”
James reasoned that the shortfall will affect both Ugandans and their businesses.
“A lot of that money funds the AIDs awareness programs in the media houses for adverts to sensitize people, but due to the diminished funds and other service providers to impact that already dire economic situation we are already in
Olive was concerned that people living with HIV will have an impacted lifestyle similar to people free from the virus because of the shortage of drugs, which are also freely given to patients because of the funds.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.
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