The Ugandan health minister, Dr Rugunda, has stated that everyone, gay or straight, will have full access to medical treatment, in spite of the recent anti-homosexuality bill.
Dr Rugunda told the BBC that homosexuals will not be discriminated against when seeking medical treatment.
The Anti-Homosexuality Bill was passed in December, and aid charities are beginning to warn that the new bill will have “disastrous” effects on the countries actions against HIV.
Dr Rugunda stated that he urges gay people to be honest with healthcare professionals about their sexuality, particularly when they seek treatment for HIV. He also stated:
“All people whether they are sexual orientation as gays or otherwise are at complete liberty to get full treatment and to give full disclosure to their doctors and nurses”.
“And by the way, health workers will live up to their ethics of keeping confidentiality of their patients”, Rugunda added.
The country’s weak health system has been threatened by western governments’ statements that they will withdraw international aid to Uganda. For instance, the US donates $400m annually to Uganda, but has begun to review its assistance programme in light of the new anti-gay law, but Dr Rugunda has stated his confidence that the US wouldn’t restrict funds, and if they did, Uganda would be able to cope.
– Hannah Dowling