By Bruno Kiyimba
The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS) has announced a grant of over Shs50m to the Uganda Boxing Federation (UBF).
This is aimed fighting the HIV/Aids scourge.
The announcement was made on Monday in Kampala by the UNAIDS country director Karusa Kiragu in a press briefing that was organized by UBF.
The funding came with punching bags donated to all clubs under UBF as well as hard cash.
In her remarks to the press, Dr Karusa said that boxing is a significant opportunity to reach young men with HIV messages as well as instilling the disease’ risk reduction behaviors.
“In 2017, in Uganda, there were 950 new HIV infections a week. More over less than half of the people living with HIV in the country are virally suppressed. In order to end Aids by 2030, UNAIDS is urging multisectoral commitment to ensure viral suppression,” Dr Karusa added.
She went ahead to urge for the need for unyielding leadership to implement HIV prevention programs, and to mobilise adequate funding to achieve and sustain the ambitious treatment and prevention programs in Uganda.
In the same briefing, the UBF president Moses Muhangi noted that the campaign will encourage 90 per cent of the UBF management know their status and have a plan to sensitize and protect their boxers from HIV.
According to Muhangi, this will not only include the boxers and their fan base but also will include students in primary, secondary and university settings.
Under the theme ‘Box HIV out of Uganda, UBF shall have workshops for club coaches, owners, administrators, referees and judges from Wednesday, November 28 to December 5, at Kati Kati Restaurant.
The workshops are intended to sensitise and create awareness to the opinion leaders in boxing sport about the seriousness of HIV/AIDS and its risks.
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