First Lady Janet Museveni is today rallying Ugandans to join a campaign that has been on the back burner over years as the country is, unfortunately, getting complacent with the pandemic of HIV/Aids.
Ms Museveni’s call is on the reduction of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV/Aids, said to be responsible for at least 50 per cent of all infections besides transmissions through sexual activity.
For more than a decade, science, proper care and attention has made it possible to prevent Mother-to-Child Transmission (MTCT) and yet in Uganda, this mode of transmission remains unacceptably high.
Without a cure in sight, HIV/Aids remain a near death sentence though interventions now make it possible for those infected to live long and meaningful lives. Many victims of HIV/Aids - men and women alike - wish they were able to perpetuate their lineages by leaving an offspring. And it is possible to have HIV-negative children only if we committed to making that possibility a reality.
Therefore, the call by Ms Museveni is timely and most appropriate at this stage.
To guarantee the country’s journey to prosperity, children of this country have to be protected and guaranteed a fair chance in life.
This can be achieved through careful management of HIV positive expectant mothers, giving them the required care to ensure they can lead long and healthy lives after child birth; to nurture their little ones into adulthood and to fulfil their dream of being mothers.
Ms Museveni aptly captures this in a commentary (See right), “I write to you this week as we intensify the campaign in Kampala region to stop unborn babies from contracting HIV and keeping mothers alive. This is the least we can do as leaders to ensure that each Ugandan child is given a chance to live a healthy and productive life.”
The leadership referred to here goes beyond those elected into positions of power or appointed into other areas of responsibility. It is a call to all Ugandans. The reason you should join this campaign.