President Museveni Warns School Heads: Ensure Access to Free Education to Combat Rising HIV Cases

KAMPALA (UG)-President Yoweri Museveni has issued a stern warning to government school heads against impeding learners’ access to free education as the root cause of the surging HIV new cases among adolescents.

The President noted that out-of-school juveniles are the most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, a development he blamed on government school heads who have failed to implement the free education policy introduced in 1996 to help children from poor families pursue their education to the end. He made the remarks yesterday during the World AIDS Day commemoration held at Kibaale playground in Rakai district, under the theme: “Ending AIDS by 2030: Keeping Communities at the Centre”.

President Museveni advised parents to keep their children in school in order to control the rising numbers of HIV infections among the young people. He on the other hand, advised Ugandans living with the virus to take medication as prescribed by health practitioners.

The President further urged parents to embrace government programmes such as the Parish Development Model (PDM) and Emyooga in order to improve the livelihoods of their families, noting that poverty is among the lead causes of the surge in HIV infections. According to the recent statistics from the Uganda AIDS Commission, about 52,000 new HIV infections and 17,000 AIDS-related deaths occur every year. These new infections are occurring among the young girls and women between the age of 15 and 24 years.

Every December 1, people around the globe observe World AIDS Day, uniting to show support for people living with HIV and those affected by the virus, as well as to remember those who lost their lives to the scourge.