Police Force Starts Fight On HIV/Aids Prevalence In Force

4805 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
One of the posters features a portrait of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura asking what you have done as a Police Leader in response to HIV/Aids prevention and impact mitigation. Make HIV/Aids response command driven in the Uganda Police Force.

Police has finally put its pride aside and come out to fight HIV/Aids as the number one cause of death among officers and men of the Uganda Police Force.

The Uganda Police Force is second after commercial sex workers as a group among the Most at Risk Populations.

According to the Modes of Transmission report March 2009, HIV prevalence among uniformed personnel was 18.4percent, a rate that is three times the national average.

However, in the Uganda Police Force HIV prevalence is double the national average of seven percent.

HIV/Aids has spread fast in the force because of the nature of the work of police officers that involves working at night, frequent and abrupt transfers, low salary scale, working in urban areas, sex for favors, alcohol abuse and peer pressure.

Police’s failure to utilize voluntary counseling and testing services, lack of condom supply at the work place and unfaithfulness among male spouses and stigma and discrimination.

The Uganda Police Force has recently released three HIV/Aids posters branded Uganda Police Force United against HIV/Aids, start by making HIV a special topic today.

One of the posters features a portrait of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Lt. Gen. Kale Kayihura asking what you have done as a Police Leader in response to HIV/Aids prevention and impact mitigation. Make HIV/Aids response command driven in the Uganda Police Force.

The other portrait features Director of Administration, Assistant Inspector General of Police, Moses Balimoyo highlighting the seriousness of HIV/Aids in the police force urging all line managers and all police officers to give it special attention.
 
While the last one features a female police officer holding a gun and highlighting how police cannot use a gun to fight HIV/Aids but to work together. It calls for zero tolerance to stigma and discrimination as the first step in fight the scourge.

Speaking to Uganda Radio Network (URN), Hajj Moses Balimoyo confirmed that HIV/Aids is a serious concern because it affects the quality of work of officers on duty.

Human beings forget quickly so we have to keep reminding them, Balimoyo says.
 
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Hajj Balimoyo says that when officers are sick they cannot perform to expectation and he appealed to all Directors not to leave the campaign to him alone but join hands in the sensitation campaign.

When challenged that the frequent transfers away from their families are the biggest cause of infidelity among police officers, Hajj Balimoyo did not deny it but said that though management transfers the officers it cannot supervise their personal ethics.
 
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Hajji Balimoyo called on police officers to resist the temptation to have casual sex because of the danger involved adding that the police would not wait for the President or the chairman of the Uganda Aids Commission to fight the scourge.

According to him the fight had started and all line managers are expected to talk about HIV/Aids prevalence in the force whenever someone addresses the officers and men of the Uganda Police Force.