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WCC treatment manuals address HIV challenges in Uganda

WCC treatment manuals address HIV challenges in Uganda

Photo: Fahim Yiga

02 August 2019

In a colourful ceremony attended by more than one hundred people, new manuals on faith healing and transformative masculinities and femininities were launched at Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda, on 29 July 2019.

The two resources, published by WCC Publications, are aimed at promoting treatment adherence for people living with HIV and at engendering transformative masculinities and femininities respectively.

Speaking at the ceremony, Canon Gideon Byamugisha challenged people of faith to recognize that science and faith are complementary. “Take your medication like there is no God,” he counselled, “and pray like there is no medication.”

Launching the manuals was the high point of a consultation on transformative masculinities and femininities for university students in Uganda, organized by the WCC Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (WCC-EHAIA) programme, Eastern Africa.

“These manuals are critical in promoting treatment adherence, especially among young people,” said Nabanoba Alice Vivian. She is Miss Y+, beauty pageant winner for 2018-2019 in UNYPA, a Ugandan network of people with HIV. She is a champion representing young people living with HIV in Uganda.

“The manuals are a good Samaritan who has come at a time when the victim needs him or her the most,” said Brian Muyunga, stressing the importance of the manuals in empowering young people to overcome sexual and gender-based violence and the HIV pandemic. 

Treatment Adherence and Faith Healing in the Context of HIV and AIDS in Africa: Training Manual for Religious Leaders was produced by the WCC in collaboration with PEPFAR-UNAIDS Faith Initiative.

Ms Sarah Nakku, the UNAIDS Uganda Community Mobilisation and Networking Adviser, called upon young people to recognize the ongoing challenge of HIV in Uganda. “Young people need to continue to provide leadership if we are going to meet the targets that we have set,” she said.

The centrality of young people to the HIV response was reiterated by Rev Pauline Njiru, WCC-EHAIA Eastern Africa Regional Coordinator. “Young people are the game changers in facing the challenge of HIV in Africa,” she declared. Young people at the launch expressed their commitment to lead the HIV response in Uganda, declaring their resolve through song and dance.

Learn more about the WCC's Ecumenical HIV and AIDS Initiatives and Advocacy (WCC-EHAIA) programme