Ugandans participate in Airtel Kabaka Birthday Virtual Run to raise awareness against HIV/AIDS
Kampala; Airtel Uganda in partnership with the Buganda Kingdom marked this year’s Kabaka Birthday Run in a virtual event to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The Kabaka of Buganda Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II flagged off around 200 people to participate in a mini–marathon at the Lubiri-Mengo grounds to raise awareness and continue the fight against HIV/AIDS as part of his annual birthday celebrations. Other Ugandans joined the run ‘virtually’ ran in their communities and homes across the country.
This year’s Kabaka Birthday Run was held under the theme; ‘Men against AIDS to Save the Girl Child’ and will continue to be the theme for the next two years.
The Kabaka praised the efforts that Airtel Uganda has put into the partnership to support the Buganda Kingdom and its people.
“I would like to thank all the partners that work with the Buganda Kingdom to ensure that these celebrations are a success. We shall continue taking the fight against HIV/AIDS forward. We shall go to the communities and talk to our people, especially the men, to fight AIDS,” said the Kabaka of Buganda.
The Kabaka Birthday Run is an annual event to mark the King’s birthday as part of a partnership that the telecommunications giant has with the Buganda Kingdom to sponsor four of their most important activities; the Kabaka’s Birthday Run, Kabaka’s birthday celebration, the Kabaka’s coronation as well as Eid El Fitri. Airtel Uganda also sponsors the Masaza Cup – the Buganda kingdom football tournament.
Commenting on the event proceedings, Airtel Uganda’s Managing Director, Manoj Murali said; “Airtel Uganda is proud to have been part of the first-ever virtual Kabaka Birthday Run. The theme does not only underscore a global commitment but as well as re-echoes unbiased heed to the epidemic. Health lies at the core of the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of Airtel Uganda and as we reconfirm our commitment with the Buganda Kingdom, we commit to fully support the fight against HIV/AIDS. With very many people participating virtually, this shows that we can still achieve our goals by taking advantage of the technology advancements we have achieved over the years.”
Dr Karusa Kiragu the UNAIDS Country Director for Ugandapraised the Kabaka of Buganda for his continued role in the fight against HIV/AIDS among his subjects. “The Kabaka of Buganda is the best ambassador that we have been able to work with and this has been shown over and again in the way the Kingdom sensitizes its people about HIV/AIDS.”
In 2017, the focus was re-channeled from Fistula to the Fight against Sickle Cells – to direct the Kabaka Birthday Run’sproceeds towards fighting the Sickle Cells disease in Uganda. Together with the Ministry of Health, the impact has been created in the areas of Sickle Cell Disease Awareness, testing and prevention. About 150,000 people were tested in three years.