Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ugandan Lawmakers okay controversial HIV/AIDS Bill

In our May 3, 2011 article, we analyzed the impact of the proposed HIV /AIADS Prevention and Control Bill that was before Uganda’s eighth Parliament for debate and passing. We added our voice to a number of international and local NGOs, activists, donors and Uganda’s partners calling for the revision of the entire bill and removal of clauses that criminalize HIV/AIDS spread.

On July 12, 2011 Ugandan law makers resisted pressure and backed the bill despite its consequences of rights of people living with HIV /AIDS and HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness campaigns that have seen the country make tremendous steps towards the.

The 9th Parliament new committee chairperson, Ms Rosemary Najjemba Muyinda was recently reported saying that the bill was in its advanced stages of being passed.

There are several controversial clauses of the bill like a 10 year penalty in jail to individuals that knowingly infect others, criminal prosecution of women who transmit HIV to their infants after birth through breast milk among others.

Lets think about this: Two people: A ( male) and B (female) both have never had HIV test but have unprotected sex. A becomes suspicious and worried and decides to rush to the nearest HIV testing center after 120 days and tests for HIV. Results show that he is HIV positive. He attacks B and drags her to court for infecting him with the deadly HIV/AIDS virus intentionally. Remember B had never had an HIV test before and didn’t know her status before she had unprotected sex with A. How will court determine who infected the other? Are Uganda’s law makers making ignorance of one’s HIV status a crime or making HIV test mandatory?

ICOD Action Network strongly opposes the entire bill because of its consequences on human rights, the bill undermines progress so far made in fighting HIV/AIDS, it legislates for mandatory testing for HIV and forced disclosure of HIV status among other clauses that we think will affect government and civil society efforts to reduce HIV prevalence and new infections rates.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

2011 Half year (January - June) Key Projects Report

Hello partners, donors and friends, we are glad to share with you our 2011 half year report about our key projects / activities. Thanks for your support.

Key Projects / activities

February 2011: House and pit latrine construction Project. The project whose goal is to provide sustainable and appropriate shelter solutions to HIV/AIDS affected households was completed in Kinuuka Sub County. A total of 6 houses and 6 improved pit latrines were constructed in Lyantonde Rural and Kinuuka Sub Counties.

March 2011: Permaculture Training

Permaculture (the word, coined by Bill Mollison, is a portmanteau of permanent agriculture and permanent culture) is the conscious design and maintenance of agriculturally productive ecosystems which have the diversity, stability, and resilience of natural ecosystems. It is the harmonious integration of landscape and people — providing their food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. Without permanent agriculture there is no possibility of a stable social order. The organization recently adopted the approach in all its agriculture related projects. In March 2011 one of our staff attended the Permaculture Design Course in Kenya and we hosted True Nature Design from USA that facilitated permaculture trainings in Kyewanula and Lwensinga Villages Lyantonde Rural Sub County. A total 137 participants attended the 2 days training.

March 2011: Women’s Group savings and credit project: This is a new project we are piloting with two women’s groups Wabusana Parish Kinuuka Sub County. The project goal is to increase group savings and reduce vulnerability of women and children.

April 2011: Anti corruption. This new project aims advocating for a corruption free community through community awareness. We have started identifying community volunteers from the already existing volunteer base. This project targets local leaders and community’s members. Community members shall be trained in detecting, reporting and following corruption related cases and shall also be equipped with skills in monitoring community development projects implemented in their areas. Projects that are implemented by government and local governments like districts are always characterized by corruption in the award of contracts, procurement and implementation of such projects. When communities are trained in detecting and reporting corruption, a lot shall be achieved in reducing corruption and its undesired effects in the community.

May 2011: HIV/AIDS

HIV/AIDS programming aims at reducing rates of HIV/AIDS prevalence, infection and effects of opportunistic infections among the victims. The organization recently started partnering with Lyantonde Network of People Living with Aids. Both organizations have adopted a Joint HIV and AIDS Action Plan for 2011 which will lead to HIV/AIDS projects being implemented in amore effective and sustainable manner.

ICT training for farmers (Ongoing)

Selected farmer's group members (Community Information Agents) are being trained in computer and Internet use, and collect information that the community group has requested from the Internet. Information related to agriculture, markets, crop diseases , HIV/AIDS and modern farming methods is retrieved from the internet, repackaged in local languages and shared with respective communities. Community Information Agents have been very instrumental in mobilizing communities for change.

Key Partners

Project Focus - Chicago

Program for Accessible Health, Communication and Health (PACE)

Rakai Community Aids Organization (RACOBAO)

Lyantonde Hospital

Lyantonde Moslem Supreme Council Hospital

Lyantonde Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS

Kampala University

University Bible Fellowship Uganda

Lyantonde District Local Government

Lyantonde District NGO Forum

Plans for July - December 2011

We hope to implement the following projects/ activities during the last half of the year (July – December).

- Conduct HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns

- Build capacity of Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS so that they can be able implement HIV/AIDS projects.

- Construct ferro-cement tanks in selected sub counties of Lyantonde district

- Strengthen Community Information sharing systems through access to ICT.

- Carry out 6 community permaculture trainings.

- Take part in Lyantonde NGO Forum activities.

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