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FUE launches One-dollar initiative

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FUE launches One-dollar initiative

Michael Sidibe ED UNAIDS (L) Nicholas J. Okwir chairperson FUE

Michael Sidibe ED UNAIDS (L) Nicholas J. Okwir chairperson FUE

The Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), a new way of fighting HIV/AIDS virus. It is so named because it brings in the participation of the  private sector. At the launch 59,000 dollars was collected.

“The ODI clearly aligns with the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act (2014), which emphasizes the value of multi-sectoral collaboration and increased domestic investment in health as one the ways that will ensure its sustainable control,” said Nicholas Okwir, FUE’s chairman. He added that this initiative will inspire private sector business and individuals to collectively engage and contribute towards ending AIDS and its associated social and health challenges.

The Executive Director UNAIDS and also UN Under Secretary General while launching this initiative called upon every member of the private sector to participate. “If we don’t address these issues by bringing the private sector and others, we will never the human security which is the foundation to win the fight against HIV and AIDS.”

He said that through the initiative over millions of people have been treated. Without it the poor people living with HIV and AIDS would not have afforded the costs. It takes eight pills a day for a course of treatment. The injection option, soon to be introduced will reduce the costs, he added. “Fighting HIV is not a charity action but an investment; this is why both private sector and government must share responsibility as a public good,” Sidibe said.

The national prevalence figure is at 7.3% among the adult population. This impacts business, and so prompting corporate social responsibility (CSR) from the business community to respond to the workplace. It enables easy access to HIV prevention services, provision of long-term health insurance, reasonable accommodation to those living with HIV infections and aiding public education and awareness.

According to Uganda AIDS Commission, the private sector is the second funder with 20% behind development partners who lead with 68% as the government comes third with 12%.

While appreciating the initiative, the Executive Director Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), Maggie Kigozi, said; “We have often been giving out money to civil societies to support AIDS programmes and not really participated physically, but this is going to involve us to be part of managing it and make sure every body’s life is healthy, consumers are healthy, suppliers are healthy.”

According to the Executive Director Private Sector Foundation Uganda, (PSFU), Gideon Badagawa, this is an innovation which is the first of its kind. It is driven by private sector that builds on the philosophy public good, focusing on policies of improving life and business thus  supplementing the government’s and  donors’ efforts for development. “All funds collected is going to be managed FUE board.”

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