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PRESS STATEMENT ON THE PROTECT THE GOAL CAMPAIGN

 
            
MINISTRY OF HEALTH

27/10/2014

Hon. Sarah Opendi
Minister of State for Health – Primary Health Care

MINISTRY OF HEALTH
P. O.  BOX 7272,
KAMPALA - UGANDA

PRESS STATEMENT
In an effort to scale up services for HIV/AIDS, the Ministry of Health, Uganda AIDS Commission, the UN family (UNAIDS, UNFPA, WHO, UNICEF, WFP,) and Partners are launching a national campaign using football and other sports as a platform to raise awareness about HIV and mobilize young people to commit to HIV prevention and access services.
The campaign dubbed “Protect the Goal Campaign” was started by the UNAIDS Executive Director, Michel Sidibe, and was first launched at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa and later on in Brazil in 2014. This global advocacy initiative harnesses the power of sports that attracts millions of people, to bring HIV into public domain.
Following the International launch, the Heads of African States including our President, H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, at the 23rd Ordinary Session of African Union meeting held in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea from 23rd to 27th June 2014, then committed themselves to the Global "Protect the Goal" Campaign and signed on the symbol – the ball.
This commitment aligns itself well with the Ugandan 2013 recommitment to the fight against HIV/AIDS under the theme “Re-engaging Leadership for Effective HIV Prevention: Accelerating Action towards Zero New Infections.”
Aware of the rising prevalence of HIV in our Country, now at 7.3% and the more recent evidence which indicates that the annual number of new HIV infections is substantially high among the young people, it is pertinent that Uganda launches and rolls out this Global HIV campaign to the entire country to increase awareness, emphasize prevention and scale up treatment.
The campaign will use the popularity and convening power of sports to unite Ugandans towards the goal of an AIDS-free generation. It will also raise awareness around HIV prevention and encourage young people and all Ugandans to get actively involved in both the national and global response to HIV and support the UNAIDS’ ambitious target of 90-90-90 by 2020. This target aims at ensuring that by 2020, 90% of all people living with HIV will know their HIV status, 90% of all people with diagnosed HIV infection will receive sustained antiretroviral therapy, and 90% of all people receiving antiretroviral therapy will have viral suppression.
The Slogan for the campaign is; “This is your game, Do not let AIDS score”. It makes an analogy between goalkeepers protecting their goal and people protecting themselves against HIV.
The National Launch of the Campaign will take place at the Nelson Mandela National Stadium, Namboole, on the 9th of November 2014, beginning at 10.00am. His Excellency the President of Uganda- Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will preside over the Launch and also participate in a curtain raiser Football match between Cabinet and Members of Parliament/Partners. This event will also feature Micheal Sidibe, the UNAIDS Executive Director.

Ministry of Health and Partners in collaboration with Federation of Uganda Football Association have invited the Ethiopian National Team to play a friendly match with the Ugandan Cranes as a climax of the activities of that day.
As part of the mobilization for this big event, a number of renowned Ugandan Artists will be performing as part of their social responsibility to mobilize youth for HIV services and be part of the Global action against HIV/AIDS.
The Key Messages for the campaign are three;
1.    Take precaution to remain HIV free by focusing and practicing the prevention messages of ABC: Abstain, Be Faithful and use condoms for those of age. Remember prevention is key!
2.    Know your status - Take an HIV test. Today, few Ugandans know their HIV status (44%for men and 66% for women).
3.    If you are infected ensure that you protect yourself from re-infection, protect others by not passing on the infection, seek treatment from recognised health workers and take your ARVs as prescribed by the health worker
Roll - out of the Campaign

The roll out of the campaign will follow a two-pronged approach: the National Launch and the Implementation phase.  Each phase has been designed to progressively raise the visibility and momentum of the campaign as Uganda scales up its efforts towards the fight against HIV

Implementation Phase
1.    Following the National Launch, the Ministry of Health will work with partners and Local Governments to cascade the campaign to regions and districts. A number of activities are being developed to support the regional and district launches including behaviour change communication, condom distribution, voluntary testing, outreach and counselling

2.    The Ministry of Education and Spots is to incorporate the campaign in school tournaments. Schools will be required to advance HIV promotional activities during football matches and athletic competitions that are carried out during the school terms.
3.    Local government have been brought on board to advance the campaign by incorporating HIV services during all district football matches.
Expected Outcomes
Through the systematic implementation of the campaign, the Ministry of Health intends to achieve the following;
•    Greater sensitization of the general public about HIV prevention especially among young people
•    Expansion of access to HIV counselling , testing and linkage to care
•    Renewed commitment of partners to support advocacy  for HIV/AIDS prevention and control towards an AIDS-free generation
Public Appeal
Government calls on the general Public to embrace the campaign and turn up in large number at Mandela National Stadium on the 9th November 2014.
For God and my country
 
Hon. Sarah Achieng Opendi   
Minister of State - Primary Health Care