Govt takes HIV fight to universities

Some of Makerere student leaders during training in Jinja. PHOTO | TAUSI NAKATO

What you need to know:

  • The Makerere University Dean of Students, Mr Peter Muhereza, said: “We are proud that Makerere University was chosen as a pioneer for this programme.”

The government through the Ministry of Education has commissioned 140 students from Makerere University to help fight against HIV/Aids, especially among the youth.

This is after statistics from the Uganda Aids Commission (UAC) revealed that more than 50,000 new HIV infections in the last two years were among young people aged 15 and 24 years.

The statistics further indicate that young people contributed three-quarters of new infections (39,000 out of 50,900) in 2021 and 2022 and that 1,000 new infections are being registered every week, infecting predominately the young population between the ages of 15 and 24.

The graduates have been commissioned by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Ms Janet Museveni, under the Emerging Leaders Programme (ELP), which, among others, is intended to impact on the quality of leaders produced in the country.

Ms Museveni, who was represented by the Minister of Agriculture, Mr Frank Tumwebaze, revealed at the weekend that the graduates underwent a week-long training.

“You are aware of the burdens I have had for a long time for high skills training, especially amongst young people, to promote them to change and get the culture of based value leadership in the country especially when we are being confronted with high HIV/Aids prevalence,’’ Ms Museveni’s speech read in part.

According to Ms Museveni, such training will be extended to other universities and higher institutions of learning. She challenged the beneficiaries to pass on the knowledge they have acquired to other people to reduce the risks of acquiring HIV/Aids.

Mr Peter Muhereza from the Dean of Students Department said: "We are proud that Makerere University was chosen as a pioneer for this programme."

Ms Mariat Namiiro, who is part of 140 students who were passed out, said the training was timely given the sexually active nature of students, adding that they have been trained on how to control HIV/Aids, how it is transmitted and how to eradicate it.