Museveni Stresses Importance of Free Education in Combating HIV & AIDS Among Adolescents


President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has reiterated the importance of school authorities fully executing the free education policy in government schools to address the prevalence of HIV and AIDS among adolescents.

President Museveni emphasized that, "young people who are not in school are the most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS but also this is due to not listening to my advice." Reflecting on actions taken in 1996, he introduced free education in government schools, but certain individuals, including headteachers, obstructed this initiative by imposing fees, deterring children from attending school. 

The President urged the implementation of free education as an "anti-AIDS measure," especially for children from impoverished backgrounds. Highlighting Uganda AIDS Commission statistics, he noted a concerning number of "52,000 new HIV infections and 17,000 AIDS-related deaths" annually, particularly among girls and women aged 15 to 24.

Addressing the origins of the virus and the importance of prevention, Museveni emphasized the role of early counseling for children. He questioned the persistence of the virus, attributing part of the problem to "young people from the age of 15 plus, who are desperate, and they surrender their lives to people who infect them." Speaking on World AIDS Day, he stressed prevention as the "number one solution" and encouraged parents to engage in government programs for family well-being.

Museveni expressed optimism about combating HIV and AIDS, acknowledging the efforts of individuals like "Dr [Stephen] Watiti" and affirming ongoing scientific work, drawing parallels to successful vaccinations against diseases like COVID-19 and Ebola. 

He reassured the public that scientists are actively pursuing a vaccine for HIV, underscoring various programs designed to prevent new infections, including initiatives for "an HIV positive expectant mother from infecting her new baby."

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