The Kabaka of Buganda Kingdom His Royal Highness Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II has today emphasized that even though many ways to guard against HIV/AIDS exist, abstinence is the most effective.
Ssabasajja Kabaka’s revelation was contained in his message read by Katikiro Charles Peter Mayiga, while addressing tens of thousands of people who gathered at Lubiri Palace in Mengo on Sunday morning, to take part in his 67th Birthday marathon, known as “Kabaka Birthday Run”, as a campaign to moblize for the fight against HIV AIDS.
“Be on your guard against HIV/AIDS, go and get tested for the disease, if you test positive, embark on taking ARVs, if you test negative, wait until the time of marriage, and then engage in sexual acts, I want you to be alive, work, establish yourselves, grow coffee…,” said Kabaka Mutebi in a message.
It was extreme excitement and enablement as a sea of people congregated inside the Lubiri Palace in Mengo, and the sorrounding areas, to take part in the birthday run of the Kabaka.
By 7:00 am, all entrances to the Lubiri Palace, including Wankakyi, Wansaso, Kalaala and Nalongo had been sealed off by the participants, in addition to all roads leading to the Palace like Kabaka Anjagala Road.
The Kabaka first launched the 21 KM run, followed by the 10KM and 5KM runs, amid too much excitement.
This was also followed by a trail, in which the Kabaka strolled on foot from his Wankakyi Palace entrance as he waved to the people, amid jubilations and loud enthusiastic applausals.
The birthday day run of this year was conducted under the theme “Men Against HIV/AIDS To Save The Girl Child”, and it was the message noticed and digested everywhere amongst the participants.
In his message to the participants, the Katikiro of Buganda Charles Peter Mayiga, thanked Ssabasajja Kabaka for expeditiously engaging the population to take serious measures in the fight against HIV/AIDS, including testing for the deadly disease.
“We appreciate your efforts Ssabasajja Kabaka of congregating us here in a campaign to extinguish HIV/AIDS out of Uganda and Africa as a whole. School going children have come, the youth are here, high profile guests are here, elders have also come, and also politicians, to see to it that we moblize in the fight against the common enemy which is HIV/AIDS.”
While addressing the participants, the UNAIDS chief Winnie Byanyima, who was also the chief guest on this ceremony thanked Kabaka Mutebi for taking it upon himself and starting efforts to fight HIV/AIDS.
Eng. Byanyima said ever since the Kabaka embarked on fighting HIV/AIDS through the birthday run, the rate of HIV transmission has drastically reduced, even the number of people dying of the disease has dwindled, and that this has been realized as result of Kabaka’s efforts to senstize men to aid women in the fight against the largely sexually transitted disease.
“This run involves tens of thousands of people. It’s just one example of your remarkable leadership in engaging men in Buganda to end AIDS, through your Men are stars, Abami Munyenye campaign. The campaign has made an enormous difference to thousands of lives, through this run, the Masaza cup, and other opportunities in the media …….in communities aiding awareness of HIV among men,” Eng Byanyima said.
“Thanks to your leadership, there has been a decrease in the rate of HIV transmissions,” she added.
For the last eight years, the general public, including fitness enthusiasts, politicians and other concerned stakeholders have participated expeditiously in the annual Kabaka’s Birthday run organised by Buganda Kingdom.
The run which traditionally coincides with the Birthday celebrations of His Majesty the Kabaka is normally launched from the Lubiri Palace in Mengo, supports different health campaigns including the fight against HIV.
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