KAMPALA —Movit Products, the leading manufacturer of personal care products in Uganda has urged Ugandans especially the youth to be at the forefront of the fight against HIV/AIDS in the Country.
This message was emphasized during the launch of the “iknow HIV/AIDS Awareness Campaign”, in partnership with Reach A Hand Uganda (RAHU), a nonprofit organization focusing on youth empowerment programs particularly Sexual Reproductive Health Rights of young people between the ages of 12–24 years. The one week campaign was launched at a press conference held at the International University of East Africa (IUEA) on December 01, 2021.
The campaign which took place between December 01 to December 07, 2021 was one of the planned engagements aimed at commemorating the International World AIDS Day which happens every December 01, annually.
Speaking at the stakeholder forum on HIV/AIDS awareness, Mr. Robert Kitenda, Head Marketing- Movit Products who was also the chief guest speaker at the forum tasked young people to champion the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS in Uganda and beyond.
“The fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS remains everyone’s responsibility. However, the time for all youth to stand against this pandemic is now. We have the mantle to create awareness and empower one another to “Say No” to this pandemic. As one of the slogan to our mother brand, Movit goes: “All Day Confidence” we are here to not only boost the confidence of all the youth here but also empower them with the right attitude, state of mind to create impactful awareness and decisions against this pandemic. We believe that a confident mind is one that can take charge of their life and do what is right for them at all times. It is therefore, our hope and expectation that everyone here will replicate the same by saying ‘Say No’ to practices that put their lives in danger and also encourage one another to take precaution and dedicatedly take their medication for those who are living positively. In the end the support we render to one another is what makes us winners in the long run,” he stated.
In further driving this message, Kitenda alluded to some insightful statistics where he appreciated the milestone achieved thus far, thanks to collaborative effort from Ministry Of Health, Local leaders, NGOs, affiliated partners and organizations that stand together to support this fight.
“According to the World Health Organization, in 2020 alone 680,000million people died from HIV related causes and 1.5million people acquired HIV. Approximately 25.4million living with HIV by the end of 2020 are in the African region. However, there is an evident drastic reduction in the number of new HIV infections between 2010 and 2020 that is a drop from 94,000 in 2010 to 38,000 in 2020.“
“This has majorly been attributed to the improved access and utilization of HIV services like testing, care and treatment. Even with the challenges we can still celebrate the milestone in this reduction and use it as encouragement to continue with this fight because we shall see the light at the end of the tunnel eventually. I therefore would like to appreciate the government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health, organisations like the Uganda AIDS Commission, NGOs like Reach A Hand Uganda and companies like Movit Products and all present here for championing and supporting the fight against HIV/AIDS,” he added.
Mr. Humphrey Nabimanya, the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), RAHU said RAHU has continued to spearhead efforts to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment as well as providing essential health services in this area through its numerous initiatives, partnerships and projects such as the ‘IknowKati’ campaign.
According to Uganda AIDS Commission 2021 report, 37% of new HIV infections were among young people aged 15-24yrs with 79% of the new HIV infections being among young women, 29% of new HIV infections from adolescent girls and young women.
Gender inequality and violence against women are the major causes of infections. Girls’ and womens’ poor socio-economic level continues to impede their ability to adapt and maintain HIV prevention behaviors.
According to Ms. Connie Nankya, Communications and Corporate Affairs Manager, Movit Products, the company’s participation is a move in the right direction to help in ensuring that young people commit to participating in all activities aimed at stopping the spread of HIV/AIDS.
“As a home-grown pan-African entity with footprint across 8 African countries, we are cognizant of the need to improve the well-being of our customers and all communities in which we operate through such strategic partnerships and affiliation. We therefore pledge our continuous support and commitment towards such initiatives that offer an opportunity for us to contribute vastly to a global cause and further deliver our mission; “Enhancing Everyday Living through active participation.”
All guests in attendance took home a range of Movit Products that included the newly launched Family Soap, lotions, hand wash/ shower gels, hand sanitizers among others.
The One-week long awareness campaign was climaxed with a music concert that saw incredible music performances from Uganda’s top-notch singers like Spice Diana, Ykee Benda, Darxx Kartel, Carol Kasiita, Dre Cali, Levixone among others who all tipped young people to carry on the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS pandemic.