24th January, 2013
Over 60 Corporate Executives today agree on a partnership commitment with The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO) to fight a re-surging HIV and AIDS epidemic in Uganda. Recent studies indicate rising prevalence rates with the current figure at 7.3%. This is happening at the backdrop of dwindling foreign envelopes and increasing demand by the international community for local ownership and facilitation of the AIDS response.
TASO founded in 1987 is the first indigenous civil society response to HIV and AIDS in Uganda and now cares for over 100,000 people living with HIV annually, with 55,000 of them receiving life saving Antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). TASO resource envelope is majorly provided by development partners from outside the country and this may not be sustainable given current global trends that emphasize local institutional strengthening.
Experiences from around the world show that local corporates hold a key to the success and sustainability of indigenous responses to challenges faced by the citizens. Corporates build institutions that reinforce each other and determine the health of the economy. Sustained response to end HIV and AIDS in Uganda will therefore depend on commitment partnership of local corporates.
The theme Uganda has chosen for the HIV and AIDS response in the last 2 years is on “engaging leadership” for effective HIV prevention. Corporates provide focused leadership at all levels and their re-engagement in the HIV response will no doubt bring about sustainable results. TASO has worked with corporates and they have contributed to the great service offered in the last 25 years. There is therefore need to scale heights in this partnership to defeat the re-surging epidemic.
Corporates have a leverage to reach out and influence a greater number of people including their staff, partners, clientele and the general public. This pivotal position by corporate makes them part of the solution to a healthy and productive nation and to ending HIV and AIDS.
Today TASO and corporates are meeting at Protea Hotel to chart out that partnership commitment that will contribute to restoring hope to millions of people infected and affected by HIV and AIDS in Uganda.