Mbale City leaders flagging of Kabaka’s birthday run participants today morning


JUST like it happened in other parts of the country where thousands of people participated in Kabaka’s birthday run 2022, in Mbale City, Bugisu, today flagged off the Kabaka’s birthday run to localize the message of fighting to end HIV/AIDs by 2030. 
All participants across all the walks of the country and tribe came together to participate in this marathon of 5kms. The message was simple, “Fighting to end HIV/AIDs by 2030”. 
Regardless of our cultural diversity and heritage composed of political belongings and perceptions, there are other uniting national or global problems which brings us together on a dialoguing table and without a doubt, HIV/AIDs fits in well here, It fits in the government’s 2030 HIV/AIDs agenda which was launched by President Museveni in 2017.

Anchored in “A Presidential Handbook”, the initiative spells out plans to tackle HIV & AIDS in Uganda through a five point plan to; Engage men in HIV prevention and close the tap on new infections particularly among adolescent girls and young women; Accelerate implementation of Test and Treat and attainment of 90-90-90 targets particularly among men and young people; Consolidate progress on eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV; Ensure financial sustainability for the HIV response; and Ensuring institutional effectiveness for a well-coordinated multi-sectoral response.
We acknowledge the support of AIDS Development partners and affirmed his continued commitment to eliminate HIV&AIDS in Uganda as established by this agenda.
Ending AIDS is an investment in human dignity and not a charity. Uganda has over one million people on treatment and this is key to achieve the 90-90-90 UNAIDS targets, which project that by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy and lastly 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
In this marathon birthday run message I emphasized the need for testing boys between the ages of 15-29 in order to curb transmission.
Over the years, Uganda has made progress in the fight against HIV. The country has registered significant reductions in new infections from 135,000 in 2010 to approximately 60,000 by 2016, in men and women. Further to this, new infections among children dropped from 26,000 in 2010 to 4000 in 2016. Of the 1.4 million people living with HIV, 1,041,000 people are enrolled in care and 980,954 on antiretroviral therapy.
We believe that the government’s five year Fast-Track approach over the will allow the world to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. The report- Fast-Track: ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030 outlines that, by taking this approach, nearly 28 million new HIV infections and 21 million AIDS-related deaths would be averted by 2030. 

The new set of targets that would need to be reached by 2020 include achieving 90-90-90.  It also emphasizes the need to focus on the countries, cities and communities most affected by HIV and recommends that resources be concentrated on the areas with the greatest impact.
We also expect the government to commit on its efforts of the approach which also outlines that particular efforts are needed in the 30 countries that together account for 89% of new HIV infections worldwide. To Fast-Track national responses in these 30 priority countries will require extensive mobilization of human, institutional and strategic international partners as well as significant commitments from both national and international sources. 
The importance of reaching people most affected by HIV is also outlined as key to ending the AIDS epidemic and concerns are raised about access to HIV services for people most in need. 
I therefore thank all our participants, Organizers Rashid Nsubuga Lubowa aka Forty Forty, Kamadi Musoli, Kakungulu Racheal K, Kakungulu Sk, URA manager Mbale station among others who turned up ij big numbers to be part of this without forgetting our stakeholders and fundraisers.
Stay safe!

The author Abdallah Magambo is the Deputy Speaker Mbale City


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