UGANDA: HIV/Aids Cases Increase in Kapchorwa
STATISTICS compiled by the office of the District Director of Health Services reveal that a total of 12,000 people are HIV positive, the District Health Officer, Dr Alfred Boyo, has said.
This is despite the various efforts being put in place by the district health office, The Aids Support Organisation [Taso], Reproductive Educative and Community Health [REACH] and other NGOs in sensitising the people about the dangers of the disease.
Dr Boyo told Kapchorwa District leaders, technical staff and council leaders at the celebrations to mark the 12th annual culture day on December 7, that tests done through voluntary counseling and guidance indicate that the prevalence rate stands at 6.8 per cent.
"Statistics at my office compiled using voluntary testing, counseling and guidance indicate that the HIV/Aids prevalence rates stand at 6.8 per cent and the statistics reveal that 12,000 people in Kapchorwa are infected with HIV/Aids. This is alarming and we must do something about it," Dr Boyo said.
He said given the fact that the entire Kapchorwa population is about 200,000 people, the HIV/Aids statistics compiled by his office standing at 12,000 people infected indicates that one person in every 16 people in Kapchorwa is HIV positive.
He revealed that whereas the most common way of contracting HIV/Aids is through having sex with an infected person, in Kapchorwa the traditional female circumcision greatly spreads the disease.
Dr Boyo said traditional female surgeons while performing Female Genital Mutilation [FGM] use only one unsterilised knife to circumcise even 10 girls, thereby carrying the deadly virus from one girl to another.
He urged those infected with Aids to seek help and to save other people not yet infected.
He asked the district political leaders, lower council political leaders and the technical staff to lead by example, by going for voluntary testing to ascertain their status, counseling and guidance in order for other people to follow.
The Director General of REACH, a community based NGO established in Kapchorwa to improve the reproductive health conditions and discard the harmful practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), Ms Beatrice Chelangat urged the leadership in Kapchorwa to join the fight against FGM in order to restore diginity of girls, and save the people from HIV/Aids.
She said REACH, besides enhancing human rights, catering for orphans, widows and victims of FGM, also puts great emphasis on reproductive health conditions and prevention of HIV/Aids.
The LC5 chairman, Mr Nelson Chelimo pledged the district's support to REACH programmes on reproductive health and HIV/Aids fight.
AUTHOR: David Mafabi
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