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The African proverb goes “No one drinks medicine on behalf of a sick person”, and we can agree no more because
where is the lie??? It’s the sick person who needs the medicine anyway, even when someone offers to help with
the medicine, it won’t work, or they won’t give it their commitment.
The proverb rhymes perfectly with Uganda’s current state with HIV financing. A significant proportion of funding
for HIV&AIDS comes from international funders at 93%, compared to the government’s financial contribution of
6.3% (UAC, 2018).
True to the fact, Uganda has been faced with a number of pandemics that present a great competition in financing.
Talk about cholera or Ebola that could kill in hours, talk about Marburg virus disease, tuberculosis and a lot more
health threats, but that doesn’t make HIV any less a threat thus the effort to curb it with support from different
key players. For 35 years, Uganda has achieved great milestones in the HIV fights from reducing the HIV
prevalence, achieving the 90% 90% 90% UNAIDS strategy then graduating to 95% 95% 95% by 2030
HIV and AIDS impacts on all sectors of the economy with Public Administration, Hotels & Restaurants, Sales &
fishing as the most vulnerable sectors to HIV/AIDS. The prevalence rate is also high among sales, clerical and
service sector workers. Uganda has about 1,400,000 people living with HIV. Putting in monetary form, Uganda,
according to the latest National Expenditure Assessment, spends over 276 million dollars per year (USD 241 per
person) for maintaining the PLHIV on AIDS-RELATED care and treatment. With the test and treat now in action, the
number of people enrolled on the lifelong treatment is more than likely to increase which in turn will increase the
cost burden.

Facing the reality, donor funding for HIV in Uganda is depleting at a scary pace because; there has been a change
of funding priorities, donors also envisage a transition to sustainability in Uganda which forces us to ask the hard
On Thursday, 17th December 2020 at hotel Africana, UNYPA conducted a high-level breakfast meeting on
domestic resource mobilization in Uganda and in his key note address, Professor Vinand Natulya founder of the
“One Dollar Initiative” highlighted the already existing avenues through which domestic resources have been put
in place though these have been jeopardized by various reasons as indicated. These included the AIDS trust fund,
the Private Sector One Dollar initiative and the multi-sectoral HIV/AIDS mainstreaming in MDAS.
The meeting cited that there are a few challenges failing the efforts that include the long approval processes and
operationalization of policies such as the AIDS trust fund, a gap regarding the actual appropriation of the allocated
resources to HIV&AIDS interventions, ensuring value for money.
The stakeholders agreed that domestic resource mobilization is possible and the different stakeholders in their
respective calibers are in position to contribute to domestic resource mobilization by taping in existing funding
opportunities in the private sector, advocating for systems strengthening to ensure proper usage and
accountability of funds allocated to HIV/AIDS work and finally, depending on one another’s strength to ensure
capacity strengthening for civil society organizations doing HIV work to ensure value for money.
So, we are safe to say that Uganda can drink the medicine. All she has to do is accept that she is sick and needs the
medicine, open her mouth and swallow. See, now that we are done talking, we are off acting. We wouldn’t want
to interface with other African proverbs like “A lion that roars actually never eats”.


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