In the early 1980’s, an unknown virus surfaced in Uganda that caused a lot of fear, panic and speculations especially whenever an Individual would lose a little weight showing signs of persistent cough, diarrhea or fever. Speculations of one being infected with the Human immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) would be accompanied by stigma, negative utterances and fear to associate with him/her. This has continued to date affecting the young and old people living with HIV.
A lot of strides have been made by government and other partners to create awareness on HIV, signs and symptoms, transmission, prevention, care and treatment as well as availability of ARVs’ services and indeed, majority of Ugandan adults understand a fact or two about HIV. This knowledge base has a lot of real and anticipated positive consequences in the fight against HIV in Uganda.
What if we consider the human rights angle before looking at someone’s HIV status? Whether one is sick or healthy they are human beings. It is true AIDS kills but to note is the fact that stigma and discrimination are silent killers. Many people especially the young people living with HIV continue to drop out of treatment, relapse and give up because of stigma attacks.
These are our relatives, friends, workmates that due to our behavior/utterances we continue to send them to “early graves”. On this day as we commemorate World AIDS Day, I call upon all of us to stop fueling acts of discrimination and stigma against People Living with HIV.
- Sarah Akampurira is a Programme Specialist – Community Health & Empowerment at the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD).
Have you ever imagined the young boys and girls born with HIV who even at some point don’t understand why they are subjected to swallowing tablets on a daily basis and the kind of negativity they deal with in schools, playgrounds without even knowing why? I believe some positive energy, inclusion, dialogue, involvement can contribute greatly to achieve: the overarching goal to bring Uganda to a national coverage of 95-95-95 percent ensuring 95 percent of individuals know their diagnosis, 95 percent of those are on treatment and retained, and of those on treatment, 95 percent have obtained and maintained viral suppression.
To win the fight against HIV requires your effort as well as mine, the government won’t do it alone, research and science won’t but rather an amalgamation of efforts. Together we can actualise this year’s, theme End inequalities. End AIDS.
Moses Mulumba from Uganda threatens the German federal government with a lawsuit if it does not advocate the suspension of the coronavirus patents. medico and ECCHR support him.
With vaccine shortages, millions of people are currently exposed to permanent, preventable health threats. In Uganda, for example, only just under 10 percent of the population are vaccinated, not even 2 per cent of them completely. This shortage could be overcome if vaccine patents were released and production capacities increased more quickly due to their free availability.
This is what the Ugandan human rights activist Moses Mulumba says and has therefore called on the German government to support the demand for the patents to be released – and otherwise threatened with legal action . So far, the federal government has blocked the application to suspend patents from the World Trade Organization. This is possibly unconstitutional and contrary to international law.
With a so-called letter of claim, Moses Mulumba, who heads a health and human rights organization in Uganda, calls on the federal government to approve the release of the patents on COVID vaccines and drugs in the upcoming WTO negotiations. If the federal government does not comply with Moses Mulumba’s request, it will face legal proceedings, because “According to international human rights treaties and the UN Charter, Germany is obliged to cooperate internationally as best as possible and to take the most effective, joint measures to combat a global pandemic participate. If Germany continues to fail to vote for a derogation from the TRIPS agreement at the World Trade Organization, The federal government must live up to Moses’ claims and thus its human rights obligations. Intellectual property rights must not take precedence over the human right to health and life, ”says Miriam Saage-Maaß from ECCHR.
“The corona management of the federal government still in office is often and rightly under criticism. However, it is often forgotten that German government action does not only have national consequences. The federal government has been in charge of blocking the TRIPS waiver for months. And to be clear: It is blocking the central instrument for faster and more cost-effective global production of corona vaccines, which costs human lives and destroys livelihoods, ”says Anne Jung from medico international.
The letter from Moses’ lawyer was served on the Chancellor, the Minister of Health and the Minister of Economic Affairs.
The aid and human rights organization medico international and the ECCHR (European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights) support Mulumba Moses legally and financially in his approach, which is part of an internationally coordinated action.
This article was first published on www.medico.de on November 25th, 2021.
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