AIDS HISTORY IN UGANDA
In the early 1980`s mysterious disease commonly known us “slim” appeared in our land Uganda, it was the time of the liberation war from our neighboring country Tanzania, some people thought it has been brought by the Tanzanian soldiers, people started naming it all sorts of names, so that they make it known to the communities even though they hadn’t known what causes it, they narrated stories that it was witchcraft killing those that looted people’s properties during war, others it was from bush meat people ate chimpanzee’s and monkeys, even though much was said no one had not yet found the right answer, what causes AIDS. Though the exact cause of the sickness was a mystery, what was clear was that the Disease was deadly to all human beings and spreading so fast. It killed family by family and this culture, where there is wife inheritance, the whole families were wipe out, because one younger could inherited his deceased brother’s former wife who was infected with AIDS, this could happen to the four old youth of the family until the inherited wife dies killing all of them. When they discovered it that it was AIDS and what causes it, it was considered to be shameful to have the disease, and very few people were open about it. Even those who did not fall sick of AIDS were severely affected by the outbreak, having to take care for the growing population of the widows and orphan that being left out by the relatives, family and friends because of AIDS victims.
For Uganda and probably other developing countries, AIDS is not merely a health issue; it is also a developing issue. The Bible declares it in 3 John 2 “ ……….. that you may prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers.” It’s the will of God for mankind to be healthy and wealthy. Its impact on our community has been massive and complex; however we are not despairing
We discussed with important people, pastors, church ministers and members here in Uganda and abroad, about the problems facing us as a whole and in other local communities.
Examples that were discussed are:-
- On how to show God’s love to the multitudes that are crying out.
- The long-term effect of the war in the Northern Uganda, that has left the people in the region helpless.
- To raise awareness and promote / undertake development education on AIDS and related socio-economic issues.
- To respond to the problems arising out of the scourge of AIDS and lack of development – at the family and community level – with particular emphasis on those directly impacted on by AIDS, children and youth (the future generation) and the women.
- To initiate income generating activities / projects and promote self-reliance and sustainable development.
- To initiate, support and co-ordinate community projects responding to the scourge of AIDS and related development issues.
- To develop partnerships with and seek technical and financial support from relevant international agencies to support its Agape Community Centre Projects and members projects.