In a proactive move to prioritize public health, the Ministry of Health has initiated the “Yambala for Me” campaign, translating to “wear it for me.” This crucial campaign aims to save lives by promoting the consistent use of four fundamental protective elements: condoms, face masks, seat belts, and helmets. These measures play a pivotal role in shielding individuals from various health risks and injuries.
Condoms, a core component of the initiative, contribute to the prevention of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and unplanned pregnancies. Simultaneously, face masks serve as a protective barrier against the transmission of COVID-19, Tuberculosis (TB), and other airborne diseases.
Reports reveal alarming statistics, with two million lives lost to HIV, and 1.4 million Ugandans currently living with the virus. Shockingly, 1000 new infections are registered per week, accompanied by 8 new infections reported every hour. STIs remain persistently high, with approximately 1.5 million cases reported between 2015 and 2017.
Authorities stress the “4C” approach, urging individuals to Consult health workers, Consult all sexual partners for treatment, Complete medication, and use Condoms while on treatment—particularly crucial for preventing new infections, especially among the youth.
The Yambala for Me campaign is executed by Taso, a prominent Ugandan organization dedicated to fighting HIV and advocating for victims in communities. Taso collaborates with the One Dollar Initiative, a private entity mobilizing resources for health, focusing on HIV and other emerging pandemics.
Harunah Kanaabi, the coordinator of the Yambala initiative, underscores the significance of seat belts and helmets as life-saving measures during accidents. Uganda ranks 21st in the world for road traffic fatalities, with 29 deaths per 100,000 people and 12,036 annual deaths, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Kanaabi highlights the prevalent disregard for helmets and seat belts among motorists due to misconceptions, emphasizing that the Yambala for Me campaign has the potential to contribute to the reduction of TB, COVID-19, HIV, and road crashes in Uganda.
“Drivers put on the seat belts after reaching traffic points, which is a risk to themselves. The seat belt or helmet somehow saves one’s life in incidents of accidents,” remarks Kanaabi.
The campaign serves as a call to action for Ugandans, urging them to prioritize safety and abandon risky behaviors such as overspeeding, reckless driving, and driving under the influence of excessive alcohol consumption.