Munoonye(find the child testing campaign) launched to halt HIV spead

13 April 2024, 1:43 pm

Byamukama Alozious

Ministry of health has launched a program, named ‘’Munoonye (find the child HIV testing campaign’’, for children and adolescents with the aim of calming down HIV viral in Uganda.

Speaking at the launch, the permanent secretary Diana Atwine said the program is a community’s based initiative where the health workers together with other agents will go to communicate, sensitize the adolescents and parents of HIV. ‘’we are looking for 10,000 who children who live with HIV and we want them to take medicine to treat HIV as soon as possible because HIV medicine or antiretroviral therapy if taken as prescribed it will reduce the amount of HIV viral load in the body which will keep the immunity strong’’ she said

Dr.Atwine added that, the ministry of education has to come on board because most of the children are on schools, she also pointed out that all mothers who are pregnant must get HIV testing so as to they get to know their status through which the babies will be protected .

Dr. Diana Atwine launching the munoonye campaign in Kampala

In Uganda, at least 60.000 children under 0-19years living with HIV are getting treatment from different health facilities and 10.000 children living with HIV are nowhere in the system and it’s the reasons for the 6 months campaign which has started today.

Dr. Eleanor Namusole, department of Aids Control Program at the ministry of health said the campaign is going to run in Northern, Mid-western and central Uganda because the areas have got a high numbers of cases.

“We are committed to protecting our children and adolescents who live with HIV” she said. She added that at least the aim is to increase at the uptake of ART.

“We are facing stigma among the elite class which is casing lead casing to poor adherence for our children” Dr. Steven Watiti the former head of NAFOPHANU cried out.

He says the elite class which includes lawyers, professors among others resisting their children to get the HIV text. The health 70 year old man who has lived with HIV since the 90s acknowledges that there is a need for a combined effort to stop patient stigma especially to children

Most stigma against the people living with HIV is coming from social media. Among the survivors of this stigma is HIV popular activist Gloria Nawanga who says many people backbite her social media posts.

Members of Government, HIV activists and Civil societies organisations attending the Munoonye launch yesterday in Kampala

“I am a strong advocate on HIV but I still face stigma from my social media platforms, what about the starter” she said .She appealed to Ministry of health to work close with Equal Opportunities Commission to come with a policy on eradication stigma among patients.

She hopes that this campaign will truly bring out that the 10,000 children who  live with without treatment.” It doesn’t make me feel happy seeing children with HIV not getting treatment”

Globally, 2million children with HIV have no treatment while Africa has about 600,000 as Uganda contributes to 10.0000 according to UNAIDs 2023