'Uganda healthcare for all despite anti-gay law'

2014-02-26 10:04

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Cape Town – Uganda’s health ministry on Tuesday sought to assure homosexuals that they will not be discriminated against when accessing healthcare despite the introduction of a tough anti-gay law.

According to a BBC report, Health Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said all Ugandans, including homosexuals, were entitled to full access to medical treatment.

President Yoweri Museveni signed the controversial anti-gay bill on Monday and said the bill was necessary in his country because "arrogant and careless Western groups" tried to "recruit" Ugandan children into homosexuality.

This came despite warnings from Washington that Museveni was putting US relations.

The anti-gay bill cruised through parliament in December after its architects agreed to drop a death penalty clause.

It holds that repeat homosexuals should be jailed for life. It also outlaws the promotion of homosexuality and legally obliges people to denounce gays to the police.

Aid charities warned the new bill would have "disastrous" effects on the country's response to HIV, said the report.

But Rugundu maintained homosexuals won’t be discriminated against, urging gay people to be honest with healthcare workers, particularly when discussing treatment for HIV.

Rugundu said health workers would live up to their ethics of keeping confidentiality of their patients.

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Read more on:    yoweri museveni  |  us  |  uganda  |  health  |  hiv  |  east africa

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