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Health Experts Direct on Tackling HIV Transmission among Adolescent Girls and Young Women



Health experts have revealed that to end new HIV transmission among Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW), the transmission drivers should first be identified and addressed.

Statistics on HIV show that the prevalence of HIV is higher among this specific category (AGYW), compared to males.

According to the Uganda Population-Based HIV Impact Survey (UPHIA) 2017, the prevalence of HIV among the adult population aged 15-64 is higher among females (7.6%) compared to males (4.7%).

The HIV prevalence is almost four times higher among females aged 15-19 and those aged 20-24, compared to their male counterparts.

During a virtual training on covering HIV, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Gender-based Violence organized by the African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) and the United Nations Joint Support Programme on HIV and AIDS (UN-JUPSA), it was noted that out of the estimated total of 1,460,000 persons living with HIV in the country, 830,000 (57%) are women older than 15 years, while 570,000 (39%) are men older than 15 years and the rest are children (100,000) less than 15 years.

The 2016/17 UPHIA further showed that the HIV prevalence among girls 0-10 years is 0.5%, but by 15-19 years it has increased to an average of 1.8 %, 5.1% by 20-24 years, and 8.5% by 25-29 years.

Dr. Daniel Byamukama, the Head of HIV Prevention at Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC) revealed that to address HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women, the drivers need to be addressed.

“If we can identify the drivers of HIV infections in this country, we have reason to be confident that we can come up with a solution to address them,” he said.

Highlighting the drivers of new HIV infections, Dr. Byamukama classified them into behavioral, sociocultural and biomedical.

“Behavioral refers to personal behaviors; the things we do. When you chose to go without a condom, have more than two girlfriends, have sex while you are still very young,” he explained.

He said that non-disclosure, sex work, alcohol and drug abuse also lie within the behavioral drivers.

However, the biomedical factors relate to the things to do with one’s body that put one at risk of catching the virus such as discordance, low male circumcision, sexually transmitted infections (STI), viral loads of sex partners and others.

He said studies have shown that communities which are more circumcised than others, like Arab regions are protected by such cultures.

“We have also done studies here in Uganda show that circumcision is protective and offers some protection. We encourage all men to be circumcised,” he added.

Meanwhile, the structural issues are societal and beyond one’s control. The major ones are; poverty; gender inequalities, gaps in access to prevention, care, and treatment services, high levels of stigma and discrimination and violence.

“There’s still so much gender inequality, there are still gaps in access to services, high level of stigma human rights challenges like early marriages, being out of school, problematic laws, regulations and policies,” he said.

Uganda’s Commitment to End HIV in AGYW

Among the various initiatives the country has employed in ending HIV in AGYW is the Presidential Fast-Track Initiative (PFTI).

Launched by His Excellency Y.K Museveni in June 2017, Dr. Byamukama said that PFTI is based on a five-point plan:

  • Engaging men in HIV prevention and closing the tap on new infections, particularly among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW).
  • Accelerating implementation of test-and-treat and attainment of the Fast-Track 90-90-90 targets, particularly among men and young people.
  • Consolidating progress on eliminating mother-to-child HIV transmission (EMTCT).
  • Ensuring financial sustainability for the HIV and AIDS response.
  • Ensuring institutional effectiveness for a well-coordinated, multi-sectoral response.

Byamukama asked the journalists to join the move to advocate for responsible behavior, decamping aggressive social norms, stigma and discrimination.

“We would want to see role models like media journalists from the whole society coming out and using their influence to promote responsible behavior,” he added.

The post Health Experts Direct on Tackling HIV Transmission among Adolescent Girls and Young Women first appeared on ChimpReports.

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Climate colonialism and the EU’s Green Deal | Climate Change




Since the beginning of the year, the Amazon Rainforest, our largest tropical forest full of ecosystems essential to global climate regulation networks, has had 430,000 acres (174,000 hectares) cleared and burned to supply the logging industry and clear land for livestock breeding. Between August 2019 and July 2020, another 2.7 million acres (1.1 million hectares) were destroyed. Much of the wood and meat produced in Brazil from this deforestation ends up in Global North markets.

In Southeast Asia, deforestation linked to the palm oil industry also continues. Between 2018 and 2020, almost 500,000 acres (202,000 hectares) of rainforest were cleared in just three countries: Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea, leading to Indigenous communities losing their land. The demand for palm oil from top food brands in the Global North remains high, despite their commitments to reduce use.

Meanwhile, the push for greener sources of energy, particularly in the Global North, is driving the demand for metals like nickel, cobalt and lithium. Labourers in mining communities working to extract these metals face dangerous and degrading working conditions.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the use of child labour in cobalt mines is widespread, putting the lives of children at risk, damaging their health and depriving them of education. In Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, lithium mining uses large quantities of water, accelerating desertification and polluting underground waters and rivers, putting the health of local communities at risk.

According to data gathered by London-based NGO Business and Human Rights Resource Centre, there have been 304 complaints of human rights violations by 115 companies mining these minerals.

Although the end of colonialism was declared decades ago, its last effects in the form of these extractive industries are clear. The system of Indigenous land takeovers, resource extraction, labour exploitation and wealth transfer set up by European colonialists continues to operate and dispossess people in the Global South.

It is against the backdrop of this neo-colonial reality that the European Union announced its Green Deal at the end of 2019.

Underpinned by an apolitical narrative that humans have already changed the Earth’s climate and degraded the majority of its ecosystems, so action needs to be taken, the Green Deal completely ignores the fact that the Global North was the main driver of climate change and environmental degradation across the world.

European governments and corporations not only damaged and destroyed the environment on the continent and exploited local marginalised communities, but have been engaged in the same exact behaviour and worse, on all other continents.

The natural world in Africa, Asia and Latin America has been destroyed through the capitalist economic systems deployed by the Global North which normalised, expanded and strengthened hyper-extraction through overproduction and over-consumption.

The European Green Deal does not outline how it will reconcile and repair the losses and damages EU countries have caused to ecosystems and communities outside of Europe. Nor does it acknowledge how these damages force people in the Global South to migrate to Europe’s shores, where they experience pushbacks, must less offer a solution.

The European Green Deal also ignores the environmental impact of Europe’s drive for renewable energy and electric mobility on other parts of the world, where resources for this economic shift will have to be extracted. It also does not pay attention to how climate change and environmental degradation have disproportionately affected its own marginalised communities and the poor and destitute in the Global South.

In other words, in the pursuit of making the EU the first climate-neutral region in the world by 2050, Brussels is falling back on its old ways and deploying what we call climate colonialism.

The EU’s apolitical narrative on climate change – ignoring the impact of colonialism and capitalism and heavily influenced by the very corporations who profit from them – could result in climate action that is not only non-impactful but, worse, could be unsustainable and damaging for marginalised communities on the continent as well as the Global South.

It relies on tech solutions and silver-bullet ideas, promising to lead a “green, sustainable” economy with electric vehicles, solar panels, wind turbines and other exciting renewable innovations.

But the question is, who will this be sustainable for?

In order not to fall into climate colonialism, the European Green Deal needs a clear plan to eradicate harmful extractive models, recognise its historical responsibility in the climate crisis, and provide accountability for the damage EU companies cause in the Global South.

Working within the same system that causes injustice will only reproduce injustice. We at Equinox have put forward a number of important recommendations that could help steer the Green Deal away from its capitalistic, colonial foundation and towards new holistic, intersectional approaches that put social and racial justice at its core.

Among these recommendations are a clear commitment to racial justice, integrated policies linking the EU’s Anti-Racist Action Plan to the Green Deal, institutional reform, and a new relationship with civil society.

Only by acknowledging that it is perpetuating colonial capitalism, and committing to ending this approach, can the EU’s Green Deal be truly effective in addressing climate change. For far too long, European governments and companies have wreaked havoc across the world. It is time for justice, accountability and a complete overhaul of economic systems. Our collective survival depends on it.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.

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Cameroonian Namondo Replaces Rosa Malango As Un Resident Coordinator In Uganda




The United Nations Secretary General, António Guterres has appointed Susan Ngongi Namondo of Cameroon as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda, with the host Government’s approval.
Ms Namondo is replacing Rosa Malango of Equatorial Guinea who first came to Uganda in 2016 as United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Representative and Coordinator, and was in 2019 appointed Resident Coordinator reporting to the President and Secretary General of the United Nations.
Malango was recently promoted by Guterres to serve as Director, Economic Affairs for Regional Economic Commission headquartered in Europe.
Mrs Malango first communicated publicly on June 10, 2021 at the commemorations of Heroes Day at Kololo Independence Grounds that the UN Secretary, General Antonio Guterres had promoted her to serve as Director, Economic Affairs for Regional Economic Commission headquartered in Europe.
“It has been an honour for me to serve as United Nations Resident Coordinator in Uganda during the past five years. The UN Secretary General has now promoted me to serve as Director Economic Affairs for the Regional Economic Commission under our headquarters in Europe. I will be coordinating the work of the economic Commission in Africa, Asia, the Americas as well as Europe,” she said.
“Today is my last Heroes Day in my current capacity. But I believe that Uganda has the potential to serve as a beacon of hope, peace and prosperity for the African continent and the world,” she added.
Ms. Ngongi Namondo has over 25 years of experience in development work, including 19 years leading development professionals in the areas of policy formulation and programme planning across four different United Nations agencies at the national, regional and headquarters levels.
Within the Organization, she most recently served as the United Nations Resident Coordinator in Eritrea, after occupying other senior positions with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), including Representative to Ghana and Comoros, and Deputy Representative to Liberia. She also served the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
Prior to joining the United Nations, Ms. Ngongi Namondo worked with the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute (IPGRI), an international scientific organization, and global non-profits including Caritas Internationalis and Catholic Relief Services.
She holds bachelor’s degrees in political science and in animal science from the University of Maryland, USA as well as master’s degrees in public administration from Columbia University, USA and in animal health from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom.

The post Cameroonian Namondo Replaces Rosa Malango As Un Resident Coordinator In Uganda first appeared on ChimpReports.

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Chad’s Football Dream




Football is a passion in Chad but the national team has yet to qualify for top African and world tournaments.

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