Monday April 19 2010

Clergy agree to use scientific methods in fight against Aids

By Martin Ssebuyira & Alfred Nyongesa Wandera


Religious leaders under their umbrella organisation, the Inter Religious Council of Uganda, have agreed to encourage the use of proven scientific methods to fight HIV/Aids.

The agreement was reached during a conference on HIV/Aids and maternal health in Entebbe over the weekend. “We shall use the scientifically proven methods but the use of condoms still remains a challenge because it’s not 100 per cent safe,” Dr Cyprian Kizito Lwanga, the Kampala Archdiocese bishop, said at the conference.

He said laboratory tests determined penetration of viruses or virus micro spheres through holes in condoms that makes them unsafe for people. He said the rates at which government has distributed condoms countrywide should have done something in lowering the virus spread. The Minister for Health, Dr Steven Mallinga, urged religious leaders to drop their conservative beliefs on Aids and advocate for use of all possible ways to fight the scourge.

Condoms defended
“Condoms are triple tested to ensure no leakage. If one has a leakage, then the whole batch is destroyed,” Dr Malinga said. According to the minister, religious leaders should urge people to use the available means as hopes for finding the drug to heal the virus draw nearer because God can not let his people suffer forever.

The body
The Inter Religious Council of Uganda is an initiative established in 2001 that brings together different religious institutions to address issues of common interest. It is affiliated to the World Council of Religions for Peace and the African Council of Religious Leaders.