Baylor College of Medicine
Children’s Foundation - Uganda

Baylor Foundation Uganda Joins National Candlelight Commemoration to Honor Lives Lost to AIDS

L-R; Rosemary (Hoima District HIV FP), Dr. Betty Nsangi, Magambo Samuel (ACAO Buliisa) Joy (YPLHIV) & Felix Mugano (Hoima City Health Officer) display their lit candles at the National Candlelight Memorial commemoration event at Boma Grounds, Hoima City.
Baylor Foundation Uganda (BFU) joined the Uganda AIDS Commission (UAC) and Bunyoro region stakeholders to review the Presidential Fast Track Initiative (PFTI) performance report and commemorate the International Candlelight Memorial, in Hoima City. The International AIDS #CandlelightMemorialDay is an event that honours lives lost to and affected by HIV and AIDS. The national event was held under the theme: “Ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030: Keeping communities at the center.”
Dr. Betty Nsangi, the Project Manager of the PEPFAR-funded ACE-Bunyoro mechanism implemented by BFU with support from CDC, presented the regional PFTI performance report at the stakeholders’ meeting that preceded the national event. The report enlightened the stakeholders about the region’s progress in HIV implementation and identified areas of improvement in the country’s bid to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

L-R: Dr. Betty Nsangi, Ms. Mary Borgman (PEPFAR Country Coordinator, Ms. Jacqueline Makokha (UNAIDS Country Coordinator and Dr. Dirisa Musiisi (CDC Programming Advisor and Lead Activity Manager for the BFU Bunyoro Mechanism) in a photo moment. Dr. Betty shares a light moment with Hon. Jennifer Namuyangu (State Minister for Bunyoro Affairs) at the stakeholders’ meeting ahead of the National Candlelight Memorial commemoration event in Hoima.
In her remarks, PEPFAR Country Coordinator, Ms. Mary Borgman noted that Uganda ranks 5th in countries contributing to new HIV cases in the world despite all the investments and interventions implemented. She pledged continued PEPFAR support to mechanisms such as the ACE-Bunyoro to ensure Uganda achieves HIV epidemic control.
The UNAIDS Country Director, Ms. Jackline Makokha noted that it is expected that by 2030, all countries will have made efforts to end AIDS as a public health threat and achieve epidemic control. She urged BFU, which is currently the comprehensive U.S. CDC implementing partner in the region to support the districts to delve into the inequalities in access to and availability of HIV services in the region.
The commemoration of the Candlelight Memorial event was a significant highlight, where various leaders reiterated the coordinators’ remarks from the stakeholders’ meeting and appreciated BFU for its consistent engagement with the regional leadership to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030, demonstrating remarkable accountability.
According to the UN Resident Coordinator Susan Namondo Ngongi, overlapping inequalities, such as those of gender and socioeconomic status, exacerbate the HIV situation and high rate of teenage pregnancies. “We must deliberately reach vulnerable girls with prevention services and information “, she stated. She also emphasized that new infections are a setback to the progress achieved, necessitating continued efforts to combat any new cases.
Dr. Felix Mugano, the Hoima City Health Officer, representing the DHOs in the region, attributed the increasing infection rates to the influx of people drawn to the region by oil exploration, fishing, and the surge in plantation labour.
Speaking on behalf of the US. Ambassador to Uganda, Ms. Mary Borgman highlighted “PEPFAR has focused on community-led monitoring to identify barriers to accessing HIV services and implementing innovative solutions.”

The Chief guest, Minister for the Presidency, Hon. Milly Babirye Babalanda signs off this year’s International Candlelight Memorial commemoration with UAC and partners.

The Chief Guest, Hon. Milly Babirye Babalanda, the Minister for the Presidency, urged Ugandans to consistently work towards ending AIDS, not only on commemorative days but every day. She stressed the role of communities in achieving the goal of ending AIDS by 2030. She also tasked the oil construction companies to put social safeguards and work with district leadership to avoid being the source of new HIV infections.
Baylor Foundation Uganda is a leading provider of high-quality, person-centered integrated, comprehensive HIV, tuberculosis (TB), reproductive maternal, neonatal, child, and adolescent health (RMNCAH), and global health security services. Established in 2006 as an indigenous, not-for-profit organization, Baylor Foundation Uganda aims to provide high-quality family-centered health care, education, and research to reduce morbidity and mortality from infectious and non-communicable diseases and maternal and childhood conditions.

Comments (0)

Join the discussion!

More Stories


Baylor Foundation Uganda Joins National Candlelight Commemoration to Honor Lives Lost to AIDS

L-R; Rosemary (Hoima District HIV FP), Dr. Betty Nsangi, Magambo Samuel (ACAO Buliisa) Joy (YPLHIV) ...


Baylor Foundation Uganda Scores High on DAIDS Laboratory Quality Standards for Conducting HIV/AIDS Research

Baylor Foundation Uganda has scored highly on the Division of AIDS (DAIDS) laboratory quality standards ...


Baylor Foundation Uganda to support TB/HIV initiatives in 38 Districts and two cities with the Global Fund Grant Cycle 7 Subgrant from TASO

Through the AIDS Support Organization (TASO), the Global Fund Principal Recipient 2 (PR2) for the ...