Chissano for assessment of AIDS policies

Inhambane- Mozambique (PANA) -- Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano on Tuesday stressed the need for a careful assessment of the impact of current policies and actions for the struggle against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
Speaking during an extraordinary meeting of the government of the southern province of Inhambane, Chissano said it was now necessary to assess whether the efforts and methods "that we've been following in the struggle against this epidemic are or are not bearing fruit.
" Mozambique news agency quoted the provincial governor, Aires Aly, as telling the meeting that the epidemic was taking more worrying proportions in Inhambane province.
Aly said that the factors contributing to the spread of AIDS in Inhambane are its location along the country's main north-south highway, and the fact that it is home to many migrant workers who return from the South African gold mines infected with HIV.
Chissano advised the provincial government to consult local communities on the best ways of carrying out an awareness campaign about means of fighting the lethal disease.
He also advised against treating AIDS in a routine manner, just like any other disease.
"Nobody cares when things are done in a routine fashion", said Chissano.
"It's imperative to find the best forms of communication so that we can ascertain whether the information conveyed to the population reaches them in the best way".
But whatever activities are developed in Inhambane, he added, they ought to be in line with the national plans and programmes in the struggle against the HIV/AIDS, which the President described as "the greatest plague affecting humanity".
Chissano is on a three-day visit to Inhambane province.

17 july 2001 22:43:00

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