HIV/Aids activists this week launched a new initiative aimed at raising funds from the private sector as a measure to bridge the funding gap in the fight against the disease.
Dubbed the One Dollar HIV/AIDS initiative, the campaign seeks to urge as many Ugandans as possible to donate at least one dollar per person towards a fund dedicated to supporting the war against HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative in Kampala, the chairman One Dollar initiative, Prof. Vinand Nantulya, who is also the former chairman of the Uganda Aids Commission, said it’s time Uganda started running an internal fundraising drive to solicit money to run various HIV programmes and reduce dependence on foreign support which currently stands at 93% annually.
To his worry, Nantulya says, 137 Ugandans contract HIV/AIDS daily translating to 962 per week. This means that 6 people contract HIV/Aids every hour making it difficult for government and donor partners to support the swelling numbers on the current limited funds.
He then welcomed the new initiative which targets to raise over UGX.100M in the fast year. He said that the campaign will reduce the heavy burden on government which has always been running short of funding towards the fight against AIDS.
However, Tamale George, one of the steering committee members of the One Dollar Initiative says, they are organizing a charity walk and run on December this year, starting at city square, ending at KCCA grounds Lugogo where they intend to see private sector players pledge their commitment towards the initiative.
Currently, the number of Ugandans living with HIV/AIDS is estimated at 1,324,685, out of whom, estimated 1,141,489 (86%) are on life-long ART treatment.
Uganda need over US$600m to run all HIV/AIDS programmes but currently receives US$ 276 which is not sufficient to cover all the necessary programmes.