Government ministries and agencies have been called upon to actively implement a policy allocating 0.1% of their budgets to HIV mainstream activities.
The commitment to this initiative was made during an Inter-Ministerial meeting organized by the Global Prevention Coalition in late 2019.
Uganda’s Ministry of Health pledged to increase domestic financing for HIV, aiming to allocate 0.1% of the public sector budget to HIV prevention and coordination activities.
The call for implementation was reiterated during a health camp and World AIDS Day celebration organized by the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities held at the Uganda Museum.
The Ag Commissioner, Human Resource at the Ministry of Tourism, Ritah Kabugho emphasized that all ministries and agencies must adhere to the budget circular, allocating 0.1% to HIV/AIDS activities during planning and budgeting.
Kabugho suggested the inclusion of HIV/AIDS prevention messages in the various activities by the ministry and it’s agencies, such as Explore Uganda, to raise awareness and promote the importance of these initiatives.
Minister of Tourism, Wildlife, and Antiquities, Tom Butiime, highlighted the significant impact of HIV/AIDS on the hotel tourism industry, with a prevalence of 10.3%, surpassing the national average.
He attributed this vulnerability to mobility and migration within the industry.
He noted that efforts to combat HIV/AIDS in the sector involve collaboration with the International Labor Organization, the federation of Uganda employers, and the Uganda hotel owners association.
Minister Butiime acknowledged the achievements in increasing knowledge and understanding of HIV/AIDS, applying universal infection control precautions, and fostering behavior change among industry players.
However, he emphasized the need for strengthened regulations to improve work conditions and enhance effective HIV/AIDS workplace responses in the tourism sector.
Under the theme ‘Ending AIDS by 2030. Keeping Communities at the Centre,’ this year’s World AIDS Day was commemorated with a March from the Independence Monument to Uganda Museum.
The event drew attendance from various guests, including officials from the Uganda AIDS Commission and Civil Society.
George Owoyesigire, representing the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Tourism, Doreen Katusiime, stressed the importance of raising awareness, changing behavior, and continued efforts to protect families, stakeholders, and communities associated with the sector.
“The ministry remains committed to sensitizing those involved in the hospitality sector and advocating for increased awareness and preventive measures,” he said.
The State Minister of Tourism, Martin Mugarra, urged stakeholders in the fight against HIV AIDs, to make information on HIV Aids available to the young people and the public.
“Let’s all live responsibly, let’s take caution, as we strive to end HIV/AIDS by 2030.” he said.