Officials from the Rwanda National Police (RNP), Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) and Prisons, yesterday commended the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) for its significant efforts towards curbing HIV transmission in the institutions.
ADRA, a non-government organization, carried out a baseline survey in 2007 to identify how uniformed personnel and prisoners cope with the risk of HIV/AIDS when many leave their spouses behind for missions.
“Findings showed that most people in these categories live without their spouses most of the year. This renders them vulnerable to many temptations, hence a need to remind them of the value of their lives.
“Through dialogues with their spouses, we have managed to inculcate knowledge on condom use, address stigma and encouraged them to join anti- AIDS clubs that have increased awareness on HIV transmission and prevention,” Geoffrey Ngiruwonsanga, the ADRA Project Manager told The New Times.
The Director of Medical Services in RDF, Dr. Charles Murego commended the work by ADRA of fighting this epidemic saying that messages have indeed reached many army officers.
“After introducing six anti-AIDS clubs, the organisation worked with them closely and to date, most of our army officers are aware about HIV/AIDS. Condom distribution has also been successful,” he noted.
Dr. Wilson Rubanzana, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, added that interventions by various organizations such as ADRA have lowered HIV prevalence among police officers.
“Today, prevalence is at 1.3 percent which is much lower compared to the 3 percent general prevalence rate among Rwandans. ADRA targeted the right group and when we interact with police beneficiaries, the results are impressive,” Rubanzana said.