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Private Sector One Dollar HIV&AIDS Initiative (ODI)
Despite the significant achievements made to date in Uganda, HIV&AIDS still remains a challenge with remarkable high HIV prevalence and new infections among the working population. While the Government of Uganda has invested considerable resources in combating HIV and AIDS, there is still a lot of dependence on external foreign donors especially for the purchase of HIV & AIDS prevention and treatment commodities.
Given other global emerging social and economic concerns, the shift in donor priorities is becoming evident. It is also being realized that dependence on donors is not only unreliable but also unsustainable. For example there has been 50% reduction in number of foreign donors funding HIV&AIDS activities in Uganda since 2014 and the trend is likely to continue. The reduction in external contributions is likely to affect the progress that has been so far gained and it is estimated that two million people will not have access to HIV&AIDS prevention, treatment and care support by the year 2025.
In order to address the negative impact of the epidemic on business, protect our staff and consumers, the One Dollar HIV&AIDS Initiative (ODI) was started. ODI is under the leadership and coordination of Federation of Uganda Employers(FUE) assisted by Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) with technical support from Uganda AIDS Commission, ILO, UNAIDS, The Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
The purpose of the ODI is to mobilize domestic resources in partnership with the private sector organizations to leverage and intensify government efforts in the national HIV&AIDS response and this will have significant benefits on the working population.
The strategic approaches to implementing the ODI include;
- Promoting integration of HIV and AIDS in alignment with the private sector Corporate Social Responsibility model
- Supporting leverage of resources through extending technology, learning facilities, supplies and networks for existing HIV and AIDS interventions
- Organizing resources to support gaps on critical HIV and AIDS challenges in the country that accrue benefits to the business community
- Positioning and empowering the private sector strategically to participate in the development and planning processes for the national HIV and AIDS response
ODI is to boost scale up of prevention, treatment and care of HIV&AIDS infected and affected working population to save Uganda’s future workers, suppliers and consumers from HIV&AIDS and wipe it out as a public health burden. Leveraging on the Corporate Sustainability (CS) approach, ODI envisions contributions of not less than an equivalent of one dollar donations from Corporate Bodies, Business Associations, individuals, NGOs and Foundations. Through ODI, a private sector partnership mechanism has been established to identify, mobilize and organize resources; in-kind and financial, aimed at providing meaningful and sustainable contributions to the HIV&AIDS response in Uganda. Under the initiative, ODI aims at making available technology, learning services, supplies and networks through the private sector to spur and leverage resources for existing HIV and AIDS efforts in the country.
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals recommend that implementing countries must increase their domestic budgets to ensure sustainability of health programmes. Multi-sectoral collaboration and increased domestic investment in health are the only ways to ensure country ownership and sustainability of HIV&AIDS programs in the future.
Today , investment in-kind from hotels, media and manufacturing sectors who offer free seminar venues, Air-time on electronic media and beverage products with a tagline displaying HIV&AIDS messages reaches the vulnerable adolescent girls and boys who comprise over 70% of general population. Hence, engaging the private sector with their Corporate Sustainability approaches will support critical HIV and AIDS gaps and challenges that accrue benefits to the business community.
Ultimately, this strategy will result into availability and accessibility of quality HIV&AIDS prevention services, reduced HIV infection & transmission among working population and MARPs, reduced mortality & morbidity, improved child survival, improved productivity and competitiveness of companies, improved health care seeking behaviours and SUSTAINING OUR BUSINESSES.