4 December 2012

Uganda: Church Attacked for De-Campaigning Condom Use

The Rukungiri municipality Member of Parliament, Rolland Mugume Kaginda has lashed out at religious leaders for not supporting condom use saying it was one of the major reasons HIV/AIDS infection was on the increase.

"Religious leaders should come out and tell people to use condoms," he said.

Mugume said this on while officiating at the AIDS Day commemoration in Rukungiri district held at Rukungiri main stadium

The celebrations with the theme: 'Re-engaging leadership for HIV infection', started with marching on Rukungiri town streets led by Kyatoko primary school brass band.

Mugume said the church has been decampaigning condom use, and has led to the increased number of people infected with the scourge.

He also urged men to go for safe male circumcision to reduce on chances of getting the disease.

Mugume urged leaders to preach about HIV/AIDS whenever they meet the people. He led over 600 people for free counseling and HIV testing where at least 6% were found HIV positive.

He called upon health workers to be friendly to patients. "We get reports that you mistreat expectant mothers and HIV/AIDS patients and most of them have shunned visiting health centres because of the rude reception they get," Mugume said.

The district healthy officer, Dr. Elisa Rutahigwa said the number of new infections in Rukungiri has gone up from 124,000 in 2009 to 145000 in 2011.

He also lamented lack of a district hospital which he said has caused loss of many lives as most of the HIV/AIDS patients cannot manage charges in private hospitals.

Rutahingwa said Rukungiri has an estimated population of 324,000 people but there is no medical doctor in the area apart from a few clinical officers who man the health centre IVs in the district.

He added that efforts by the district council to give a top up of sh500,000 to doctors who wish to work in Rukungiri have not yielded any fruits as no applications are received whenever they advertise for those jobs.

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