The One Dollar Initiative (ODI) sets to reduce on over dependence from foreign aid in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Uganda.
In 2018, the Private sector Organization launched the ODI campaign, aiming at mobilizing money from Ugandans, to finance HIV/AIDS related activities in the country.
Speaking to the press during the initiative dinner at Kampala Serena Hotel on Tuesday, Prof Vinand Nantulya, the chairperson of this initiative stated that they chose to start this fundraising campaign to reduce over reliance on foreign support.
“We are currently mobilizing contribution from Ugandans and safely depositing it in the bank. We will then invite HIV/AIDS related organizations to place their bids, and the one who will have a convincing bid will then qualify to receive this money. But we shall still make a follow up to see that this money is used effectively,” he said.
Prof. Nantulya said that if every Ugandan contributes at least one dollar a year (nearly Shs4000), it would highly help them to run their projects smoothly.
“Uganda’s population is about 40 million people, out of which 19 million are adults and are earners. So, if each of these 19 million people contribute a dollar a year, Uganda will be able to generate about Shs70 billion every year.”
Nantulya noted that previously, Uganda had five donor funding HIV/AIDS related activities, but now they have reduced to two, and they are very inefficient yet the spread of the disease is on a rapid increase.
This money collected through the ODI campaign will be used in creating sensitization, care support, running HIV prevention campaigns, providing basic necessities to people living with the disease among others.
Radio personality Moses ‘Super Charger’ Nsubuga, said that this fundraising campaign will help the government to reduce on its expenditure towards this epidemic.
As one of the people living with HIV/AIDS, Super Charger stated that he has been living with HIV since 1994, and for over 25 years on ARVs treatment, he has managed to keep his wife and four children HIV negative.
But, he revealed that he knows that people like him (HIV+) are a burden to the government since their number is growing rapidly every day and their medicine is very expensive, so prevention and sensitization campaigns that ODI sets to invest in will be very useful to the country.
“Am currently in the second level of ARVs, it costs the government Shs200,000 and yet we are over 1.2 million people on treatment. Level one costs Shs50,000 and Level three costs Shs700,000. Now imagine how much the government spends on our treatment,” he said.
He said that over 1000 people get HIV every week but there are limited sources of income to finance HIV awareness campaigns, he then applauded One Dollar Initiative for responding positively towards the causes and believe that their campaigns will reduce on this epidemic.