Uganda AIDS Commission
New Director General Starts Work at Uganda AIDS Commission
KAMPALA, 4th March, 2014 - Dr. Christine Ondoa is the new Director General of Uganda AIDS Commission. She commenced her duties on the 27th of February, 2014 following her appointment to this office by the President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Dr. Ondoa brings with her a rich academic background plus a wealth of experience in medicine, health, policy design and implementation, public health service delivery, program administration and management, in addition to advocacy and leadership skills. She has served in key regional, national, and international positions. Before her appointment to Uganda AIDS Commission, she was the Minister of Health in 2011 to 2013. She later served as a Senior Presidential Advisor to His Excellency the President of Uganda on Public Health Issues, besides serving as a board member of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, GAVI.
The new Director General says Uganda is on track to reversing the HIV epidemic, but she cautions that we must not become complacent. She says emphasis should be put on the ABC strategy which advocates for abstinence, being faithful and if all fails using a condom consistently. She says more needs to be done to achieve Zero New HIV Infections, Zero Discrimination and Zero AIDS Related Death in line with United Nations’ global theme for HIV/AIDS. She calls for a joint multi-sectoral approach where all stakeholders including the general public are involved in overcoming the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Dr. Ondoa says recent statistics show significant progress in reducing new HIV infections by about 13 percent to 140,000 compared to the 160,000 new infections in 2011. Uganda has put more people on HIV treatment in 2013 than those who acquired HIV in the same period. She said, in 2013 Uganda enrolled 193,000 patients onto treatment compared to the 140, 000 new infections in this same period. She also notes that fewer children are now born HIV positive. Similarly AIDS related deaths in Uganda have tremendously reduced from 100,000 deaths in 2002 to 63,000 in 2012. However, she notes that the numbers are still high and unacceptable. She therefore urges all stakeholders to intensify interventions to stop the spread of HIV and its effects.
“I am re-energized to propel the country to greater heights to tackle the HIV/AIDS scourge on behalf of the Government of Uganda. I bring to this position experience I have garnered over the years working as a health practitioner, policy maker and administrator. However, I will strongly rely on the expertise and commitment of staff of Uganda AIDS Commission, government ministries, particularly the Ministry of Health, development partners, as well as partnerships with various stakeholders,” said the Director General, Dr. Christine Ondoa.
Dr. Ondoa also served as the Executive Director of Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital, Director of Jinja Regional Referral Hospital, and she too was the Regional Pediatrician for the West Nile region based in Arua Regional Referral Hospital. Dr. Ondoa has worked with several international organizations such as WHO, GAVI, USA funded President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief - PEPFER, AIDS/HIV Integrated Model District Program -AIM, Save the Children, and UNICEF where she served in different capacities ranging from coordinator to trainer. Furthermore, Dr. Ondoa coordinated Uganda’s national Malaria Control Program, the HIV/ AIDS Program, and the Uganda National Expanded Program on Immunization for a number of years.
She holds a Bachelor of Human Medicine and Surgery, a Masters of Medicine in Pediatrics and Child Health, with additional training and experience in pediatric HIV/AIDS. On top of that, she holds a Masters in Management Studies in Public Administration and Management, as well as several post graduate certificates in leadership. Furthermore, she has carried out extensive research on topical public health themes such as HIV/AIDS and health service delivery among others. She also belongs to several professional medical bodies.
The Uganda AIDS Commission is mandated to coordinate the national response to HIV/AIDS on behalf of the Government of Uganda. The AIDS Commission is under the Office of the Presidency, and is governed by a Board of Directors. The Board is chaired by Professor Vinand Nantulya, an expert with regional and global experience in health and medicine. Dr. Christine Ondoa replaces Dr. David Kihumuro Apuuli who served as Director General of Uganda AIDS Commission since 1999. Prior to Dr. Kihumuro, was the Late Honorable Omwony Ojwok.