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UNAIDS calls for local resources on HIV and AIDS fight

UNAIDS calls for local resources on HIV and AIDS fight

The UNAIDs Executive Director, Dr. Michel Sidibe says they are encouraging government in the sub-region to create a new strategy to raise their domestic funds to fight HIV in their respective countries and not depend solely on external funding.

Addressing journalist from West and Central Africa at a media conference in Ivory Coast  Mr. Sidibe said that despite the progress made in fighting HIV, yet still most countries still depend on foreign counties to support them financially to fight HIV/AIDs. He said People Living with HIV, under ARV treatment has to live all their life under ARV, so there must be national funds available to finance the treatment of HIV. He informed journalist that at the African Union, the Africa Road Map was introduced to representatives of governments, were they were given all the ideas and the ways they can raise more domestic funds and to also allocate more funds to HIV from their national budget.

He also adds that among other challenges is the transmission of HIV from mother to child, which he condemned out rightly saying “it is unacceptable to still have children born with HIV today, because we know now how to avoid it in Africa”

He told journalist that the first cause of death for people living with HIV, is tuberculosis, therefore the media is vital to disseminate the right information about the progress and challenges in fighting HIV and raise awareness among political leaders on their responsibilities, as for the management of the resources dedicated to the response to HIV.  The awareness of HIV is important to cure AIDS and to accept it, and therefore the response to HIV cannot be effective without good communication and involvement of the media to help the national process to covey the information to the population.

UNAIDS Executive Director, Dr. Sidibe told journalist that UN AIDS and partners recognise the role of the media in the fight against HIV over the past years, and stressed that there is need for the media and UNAIDS  and partners to continue to work together in the implementation of an effective and efficient response in West and Central Africa.

The Regional Bureau of the UNAIDS in West and Central Africa brought together members of the Africa Media Network against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (REMASTP) and other actors of the response to HIV, in Ivory Coast from the 8th-11th July 2013 to allow them to communicate on their different experiences and also make the work of the media easy.

The President of Africa Media Network fighting against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (REMASTP)  Issuf Bamba said the forum is a time of exchange, as its creates a platform for media professionals dealing with the processing of messages and  information to reinforce their abilities over the past five years.

He said that the purpose of choosing Ivory Coast for the conference is to give the organisation the opportunity to go back to the source, after it was created on 28th March 2008 with the objective of reducing ignorance.  Mr. Bamba added that the forum in Abidjan is welcome as it gives them the opportunity to examine their work in the past five years.

Abu Bakarr Kargbo

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